Photo: Ekaterina Kuzmina/RBC
The European Commission has allowed Gazprom to increase the gas flow by pipeline to bypass Ukraine with 18 billion to 28.2 billion cubic meters per year. Previously, “Naftogaz” has warned that this exception could receive up to $425 million annual transit revenue
The European Commission has confirmed that it has allowed “Gazprom” to increase the use of capacities of the OPAL gas pipeline, which unites the “Nord stream” gas transmission system in Central and Western Europe, reports Reuters with reference to the official representative of the EC.
The power of OPAL is 36 billion cubic meters of gas a year, but while the German regulator has allowed Gazprom to use it only 50%, that is, to pump no more than 18 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The Commission’s decision allows “Gazprom” to participate in auctions on pumping that shaft with another 7.7–10.2 billion cubic meters, that is to access more of 21.4–28.3% of capacity, writes Reuters.
The representative “Gazprom” has not yet responded to a request to RBC.
Earlier this week, the newspaper the Wall Street Journal reported, citing two sources that the European Commission allowed the Russian company to increase the pumping on the pipe, assuming that 10-20 percent of its capacity will be able to use other suppliers, so as not to violate European law.
On Thursday, the CEO of the Ukrainian “Naftogaz” Andrew KOBOLEV warned that if the European Commission will allow “Gazprom” to increase the use of OPAL, Ukraine could lose up to $425 million from the transit of Russian gas. If the Commission will allow “Gazprom” to use an additional 30% of the capacity of OPAL, the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine will be reduced to 10-11 billion cubic meters a year, and then transit the revenue of “Naftogaz” will fall to $290-320 million (old rate), estimated by “Naftogaz”. If the Russian company will allow you to use an additional 40% of the pipeline (i.e. in the amount of 90% of its capacity), the transit will be reduced by 13.5–14.5 billion cubic meters and revenues of Ukraine — at $395-425 million
The increase flow of gas to “Gazprom” to the OPAL will probably lead to “greater dependence of some European countries from the Russian monopolist”, said Kobolyev. It also “will contribute to the realization of Russia’s plans to destroy the Ukrainian gas transportation system as a competitor in the supply of gas to consumers in the EU,” he added.