OPAL settlement agreement signed

Kassel. Solutions reached after a long fight over the complete use of the OPAL connection pipeline in the Baltic Sea: With the signing of a settlement agreement by the German Network Agency, OPAL Gastransport GmbH & Co. KG, PJSC Gazprom and Gazprom export LLC, the way has been cleared for the full use of transit capacities that have been only partially available in the past.

The agreement annuls ancillary provisions of the original OPAL Exemption Decision made on July 7, 2009, and amends them. The European Commission approved the original settlement agreement in principle on October 28. But it attached some requirements to its approval. These requirements have now been incorporated into the new agreement. The German Network Agency will release the new settlement agreement (tenor) in the near future. “With the newly signed agreement, a fair compromise that takes account of the interests of the parties involved and market needs in accordance with the German Energy Act has been reached,” said Eduard Schmitke, the Managing Director of OPAL.

Under the agreement, 50 percent of transit capacities will remain with OPAL Gastransport GmbH & Co. KG. In accordance with the original Exemption Decision, these capacities will be completely exempt from network access and network tariff regulation. The remaining 50 percent will be made available to the market as “partially regulated” capacities. These capacities will indeed be exempt from network tariff regulations. But they will be subject to the general network access scheme and will be auctioned on the European capacity platform PRISMA primary. The first bidding for the capacity is planned for the monthly auction for January 2017. The partially regulated capacities will be offered there as separately bookable entry capacities in Greifswald and as exit capacities in Brandov.

OPAL Gastransport GmbH & Co. KG has published changed Supplementary Terms & Conditions of OPAL Gastransport GmbH & Co. KG (Appendix GTC 2) in the download area as well as a changed Price list for use of the transmission gas pipeline system as of 19 December 2016 for transport as of 01 January 2017.

Please also note the Declaration by non-dominant companies in Appendix GTC 3.

OPAL Gastransport operates the OPAL, a pipeline approximately 470 kilometers in length that runs in a southerly direction from the Nord Stream landing point in Lubmin near Greifswald as far as the Czech Republic. The natural gas pipeline with a transport capacity of 36 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year travels across the German states of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Brandenburg and Saxony.