Russian gas deliveries to Germany via the Opal pipeline fell by around 30% today (1 February) after Poland successfully blocked a deal giving Gazprom a bigger share of the pipeline’s capacity.
Gazprom sends gas through the Nord Stream pipeline which runs along the Baltic Sea bed and links up with Opal in Germany but the Russian gas exporter faces curbs imposed by the European Union on how much of Opal it can use.
Last year the EU approved a deal between Germany’s energy regulator and Gazprom giving the producer access to more than its 50% share of Opal’s capacity through a mechanism of monthly auctions that lifted exports.
Some 80% of the pipe’s 55 billion cubic metres/year capacity was used in 2016, data shows.
But the European Court of Justice in December suspended the EU approval to give Gazprom as Opal’s co-owner more of the pipeline’s capacity, which had been granted in November, after an appeal from Poland.