German pipeline Opal says Gazprom may continue with auctions
FRANKFURT (Reuters) — Polish energy company PGniG and its German subsidiary have failed to win an injunction aimed at blocking Russia's Gazprom from increasing its use of the Opal pipeline in eastern Germany, the pipeline's operator said on Friday.
A spokesman for the court, the Oberlandesgericht (OLG) Duesseldorf, declined to comment, but a spokeswoman for pipeline operator Opal Gastransport said: "I can confirm that these appeals were completely rejected and that Opal Gastransport can offer its capacity fully to the market.
Gazprom declined to comment on Friday.
The 36 Bcm per year Opal pipeline carries Russian gas arriving via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline across the Baltic Sea to continental European markets.
The gas goes into underground storage in northeastern Germany or travels down to the Czech Republic.
The Duesseldorf court in July ruled in favor of Gazprom after two Polish firms sought curbs on Gazprom's Opal use citing competition grounds.
The court at that stage said it had found no evidence of serious harm for the plaintiffs. Final, wider rulings are due from the OLG Duesseldorf and the Luxembourg-based EU General Court likely in 2018 and 2019.
Poland is concerned about Russian plans to double its gas export capacity to Germany via its Nord Stream 2 project. Polish and Ukrainian authorities fear the move could reduce the amount of Russian gas transiting their countries.
The European Commission has also encouraged member states to curb their reliance on Russian energy in the wake of Moscow's annexation of Crimea in 2014.
Opal offers monthly and annual capacities on the PRISMA capacity auction websites, where the names of bidders or the size of their allocations are not identified.
Reporting by Vera Eckert and Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Maria Sheahan and Jason Neely
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At October’s HPI Forecast Breakfast for our sister publication, <i>Hydrocarbon Processing</i>, I shared <i>Gas Processing</i>’s forecast on change in the LNG industry.
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The New LNG Imperative
The shale gas boom established the US as the world’s leading natural gas producer and is responsible for billions of dollars of investments in the US gas processing industry. Since 2012, the US has witnessed unprecedented growth in new gas processing capacity and infrastructure. This rise is due to greater production of domestic shale gas, which is providing cheap, available feedstock to fuel the domestic gas processing, LNG and petrochemical industries. New gas processing projects include the construction of billions of cubic feet per day of new cryogenic and gas processing capacity, NGL fractionators, multi-billion-dollar pipeline infrastructure projects, and the development of millions of tons per year of new LNG export terminal construction. Attend this webcast to hear from Lee Nichols, Editor/Associate Publisher, Hydrocarbon Processing, Scott Allgood, Director-Data Services, Energy Web Atlas and Peregrine Bush, Senior Cartographic Editor, Petroleum Economist as they discuss the future of LNG and the application of Energy Web Atlas, a web-based GIS platform which allows users to track real-time information for every LNG project.
November 29, 2017 10am CST
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