German court rules Nord Stream 2 to obey EU laws

Photo: EPA

The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline must obey the EU regulations with no exemptions, a German court ruled. The specific EU regulations require that the owners and operators of the pipeline must offer a certain part of total volume to parties different from the suppliers of the gas that flows in them to ensure fair competition. The ruling emphasizes that there should be no exempt from EU, Reuters elaborated.

The Duesseldorf Higher Regional Court dismissed a challenge filed in 2020 by the operators of the Gazprom supported project to carry gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. They argued the rules were discriminatory. The court did not immediately explain its ruling, which can be appealed. Still under the ruling now Gazprom will be forced to auction pipeline capacity, which could delay deliveries. EU rules require the companies that produce, transport and distribute gas within the bloc to be separate, or "unbundled". They aim to ensure fair competition in the market and to prevent companies from possibly obstructing competitors' access to infrastructure. This means that the company transporting the gas must auction its capacity to third parties.

The Nord Stream 2 operator claimed that the rules were aimed at halting the pipeline. The project is strongly opposed by many European governments, some of whom see it as a Russian state venture designed to increase the EU's dependence on Russian gas. Nord Stream 2 said the German court's decision highlighted the "discriminatory effect" of the EU amended Gas Directive. The rules will cost Nord Stream 2 additional time and money but will not stop its completion.

Russia stated that the court ruling was a "corporative issue", adding that the consortium should take care of it itself. "We can only reiterate... that the Nord Stream 2 is a purely commercial project aimed at significantly strengthening European energy security," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. The $11 billion project, with a transport capacity of 55 billion cubic metres, has faced political opposition from Washington as well as from Ukraine and Poland, which stand to lose out on lucrative transit business if the pipeline goes into operation.

Similar articles

  • Oil surges over Ida damages, US supply concerns

    Oil surges over Ida damages, US supply concerns

    Oil prices started the week surging to new highs over concerns linked to supplies to US customers. The market takes in account damages caused from Hurricane Ida coupled with higher demand, Reuters reported. Brent crude rose to $73.40 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate crude was up to $70.21 a barrel. Both markets were at their highest since 3 September.

  • Russia says Nord Stream 2 is fully completed

    Russia says Nord Stream 2 is fully completed

    The Russian energy giant Gazprom announced that it had fully completed the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline which connects undersea Russia and Germany. The project is expected to boost natural gas exports and bypass the territory of Ukraine, Reuters reported. The controversial pipeline will double Russia's gas exporting capacity to Europe via the Baltic Sea and will allow Moscow to circumvent its political foe Ukraine as a major route for its lucrative gas exports to Europe.

  • OPEC+ ups its 2022 global oil demand forecast

    OPEC+ ups its 2022 global oil demand forecast

    The expanded organisation of oil exporting countries OPEC+ announced it revised upwards its forecast for the global demand and consumption in 2022. The projected higher demand is coupled with falling inventories and rising prices, Reuters elaborated. OPEC+ is under intense pressure by US to increase its oil output.