Ukraine expressed the hope for European Commission’s decision for OPAL pipeline
By this time, a throughput of gasoline was divided with the accord to third-party access what means that Gazprom received possibility of transmission amounted to 50% of OPAL throughput while the other part is committed for other companies. EC announced on 28th October its decision in this matter. According to it, “the use of only 50 % of OPAL's capacity will be exempt from third party access rules and the operation of the other 50% of the pipeline capacity will be covered by stringent EU market rules”. In practice, it means that residual part of transmission capability, that was not used by this time, will be used by Gazprom. According to Naftogaz, 30% increase of capacity for Gazprom will lessen the transit volumes by 10-11 bcm/y via Ukraine, which basically means lost in revenue total USD 290-320 million (based on the former tariffs), whereas additional 40% of throughput of OPAL for Gazprom will result in 13,5-14,5 bcm/y decrease in transit and USD 395-425 million of lost for Naftogaz annually.
As the European Commission quotes, there are additional conditions adopted under the third Gas Directive (Directive 2009/73/EC):
- The amount of firm short-term capacity from the Gaspool hub ("FZK capacity") to be made available has to be increased up to 20 % in case of demand. If technically feasible, changes to the competitive situation are such as to justify an increase, and the benefits of an increase outweigh the costs thereof, the Commission can request further increases of this capacity.
- Undertakings or groups of undertakings with a dominant position in the Czech Republic or which control more than 50 % of natural gas arriving at Greifswald may bid for this capacity only at the base price. The base price may not exceed the average price of comparable capacity on other pipelines.
Bundesnetzagentur has to monitor and report on the effectiveness of the OPAL decision for improving competition on the Czech market. The OPAL operator shall be certified under the applicable unbundling provisions.