EU Court restricts Gazprom's rights on OPAL pipeline

The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in favor of Poland in its dispute with Russian gas company Gazprom over the Opal pipeline, reports the Polish Energy Ministry on Twitter.

"The court overturned the decision of European Commission, that was giving the Russian concern the right to use the 100% of pipeline," reads the message of the the Polish Energy Ministry. The press service of the court stated that the previous order violated the principle of energy solidarity.

Polish Minister of Energy Krzysztof Tchórzewski noted that the new decision should "put an end to Gazprom's monopoly in Europe" and "has great importance considering the expiration of the contract for the Russian gas transit through Ukraine."

The Polish state-owned company PGNIG stated that the new conditions will help to increase gas transit through Ukraine by at least 12.5 billion cubes per year.

In October 2016, the European Commission approved the increase of Gazprom's access to the pipeline. The exclusive right of the Russian company to use 50% of Opal's transit capacity (12.8 billion cubic meters) remained in force. Besides, the European Commission allowed Gazprom to participate in auctions for another 40% of Opal's transit capacity (about 10.2 billion cubic meters).

In response, Warsaw filed a complaint to the EU Court of Justice, saying that the decision of the European Commission contradicts the principle of diversification of supplies and poses a threat of its violation or termination.

  Gazprom, Poland, OPAL