European Court of Justice rejects Naftogaz’s claim against the European Commission regarding Gazprom’s access to OPAL pipeline

The European Court of Justice dismissed the claim of the Ukrainian state-owned company Naftogaz against the European Commission (EC). Naftogaz filed a lawsuit against the EC in March of last year in response to the EC’s decision to allow the Russia’s Gazprom additional transit volumes through the OPAL and Nord Stream pipelines. However, on March 9, the Court rejected Naftogaz’s claim against the EC.

The EC made their decision to grant Gazprom additional access to the OPAL pipeline on October 28, 2016. Representatives of Naftogaz demanded that this decision be overturned, stating that the EC acted “outside of their authority.”

The decision of the EU to allow Gazprom to increase gas transit through the OPAL would deprive Ukraine of 18 billion to 28.2 billion cubic meters of gas transit per year.

The OPAL gas pipeline connects the Nord Stream with the gas transport systems of Central and Western Europe. Naftogaz warned that due to the EC decision to allow Gazprom to increase gas transit through OPAL, Kyiv will suffer a loss of up to $425 million of annual transit income.

The European Court of Justice rejected Naftogaz’s claim against the EC, calling it as “inadmissible.” Court records state that the Ukrainian company must “bear its own costs and the costs of the European Commission [in this case]”.

In December 2016, the Polish gas transportation company, PGNiG Supply & Trading, filed a similar claim with the European General Court, calling for the annulment of the EC’s OPAL decision. This case still remains under consideration.

  OPAL, Naftogaz, European Commission, Gazprom


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