Mistura says Homs terror attacks attempt to derail Geneva talksWorld February 26, 5:49
Annular eclipse will be visible in South America, Africa on Feb 26Science & Space February 26, 3:24
HNC expects Trump to correct Obama's mistakes in Syria - delegation headWorld February 26, 3:08
War on terror to dominate Geneva talks — Syrian UN envoyWorld February 25, 23:48
Russian skier wins gold in skiathlon at 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski ChampionshipsSport February 25, 17:46
Top US Air Force general points to growing conflict potential in Syrian airspaceWorld February 25, 17:17
Iran relies on Russia’s support in production of fuel for nuclear power plantsBusiness & Economy February 25, 16:20
Ukrainian military capture Donetsk water purification plant — spokesmanWorld February 25, 15:05
Azerbaijan and Armenia report armed clashes in Karabakh conflict areaWorld February 25, 11:45
The options are intended “to ensure reliable energy supplies and participation in auctions for the sale of the OPAL gas pipeline capacities” amid the continued crisis in Ukraine, the main transit route for Russian natural deliveries to Europe, Rendla said.
The OPAL gas pipeline, which has an annual capacity of 36 billion cubic meters and runs along Germany’s eastern border, provides a link from Russia’s Nord Stream gas pipe running under the Baltic Sea to Europe’s existing gas transport networks. The OPAL pipeline pumps Russian natural gas across Germany and farther to the Czech Republic.Under the rules of the Third Energy Package, Gazprom is required to reserve up to 50% of the OPAL gas pipeline’s capacities for gas transportation by independent gas suppliers.
Gazprom turned to the European Commission in late 2013 with a request to exclude the OPAL gas pipeline from the rules of the Third Energy Package, which requires the separation of gas production, transportation and sale to prevent gas suppliers from dominating the infrastructure.
The German Economy Ministry has insisted on providing full access for Gazprom to the OPAL pipeline over the threat of interruptions in Russia’s natural gas transit via Ukraine.
However, the EU has postponed until late October a decision on providing full access for Gazprom to the OPAL gas pipeline.
“Therefore, the current rule [the admission of independent suppliers to the gas pipeline] is substantiated by the existing competition on the Czech market,” the German Federal Network Agency spokeswoman said.
“If the European Commission approves the agreement, then 50% [of the capacities] will be offered to free market participation through auctions,” the spokeswoman said.
“A positive decision by the European Commission could strengthen the European internal market because in this case 50% of the gas pipeline’s capacities sold at auctions could be used by all bidders,” Rendla said.