You are here

Russia granted total access to Opal gas pipeline link

30th January 2014

The European Commission has come to an agreement that allows Russia complete access to the Opal pipeline EU link

The Opal pipeline is a natural gas pipeline in Germany along the German eastern border

The European Commission has come to an agreement that will permit Russia complete access to the Opal pipeline EU link, which is considered crucial to improve gas sales to the European Union.

Gazprom, which is Russia's top natural gas producer, makes more than 55 per cent of its gas sales in Europe. However, the company has had limited access because of EU legislation that prevents dominant suppliers from also controlling transport networks.

The Opal pipeline is a natural gas pipeline in Germany along the German eastern border.  It is approximately 470 kilometres and will link through Germany to the Czech Republic, which will then connect to Nord Stream pipeline grid in Middle and Western Europe. The pipeline was constructed and is being operated by OPAL NEL Transport GmbH.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a conference after talks in Brussels, "We have agreed 100 per cent (of Opal) will be used, not 50 per cent as before."

Nord Stream has the capacity of 55 billion cubic metres a year, but it has only been able to pump at around half of that volume because of the EU restrictions.

Energy dominates relations between the European Union and Russia because it is the country’s pre-eminent gas supplier.

While the Opal pipeline issue seems to be resolved, the two sides are far apart on a Commission investigation into Gazprom. The company is suspected of hindering the free flow of gas in central and Eastern Europe, essentially blocking rival suppliers and overcharging customers by using gas prices that are linked to oil.

 

 

Related topics: 

Got a news tip? Email news@oilandgastechnology.net