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EC delays decision on OPAL pipeline capacities

July 16, 2014, 12:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW
1 pages in this article

MOSCOW, July 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Commission together with German regulator Bundesnetzagentur have postponed a decision on the OPAL pipeline capacities indefinitely, the commission’s representative said on Wednesday.

“The European Commission has agreed with Bundesnetzagentur to extend the deadline for the decision on the OPAL. The reason for the extension is that some technical aspects need further consideration. It is hard to set a deadline for the decision,” the representative said.

The OPAL, with the capacity of 36 billion cubic meters, is plugged into Russia’s Nord Stream undersea export pipeline and stretches along Germany’s eastern border. Under the EU’s Third Energy Package, gas giant Gazprom is limited to use only 50% of its capacities.

However, the only filler of the OPAL pipeline is the Nord Stream, and to avoid financial losses Russia and Germany urged the European Commission to exempt OPAL from the Third Energy Package legislation. The commission decided to hold an auction on the remaining 50% of the pipeline’s capacities to take the OPAL out of the package by imposing a so-called partial regulation.

The auction must have been held on Tuesday.

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