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Poland appeals Opal pipeline decision

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World Pipelines,

In October of this year, the European Commission lifted a cap on Gazprom's Opal pipeline, which would allow the company to have greater access to the pipe. The Polish government has filed a complaint against this decision to the European Court of Justice, according to Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Joanna Wajda.

"The situation threatens the security of gas supplies in the EU, particularly in the region of Central Europe," Wajda reportedly stated. "This raises a serious risk to the security of gas supply for Poland by becoming dependent on one source of supply, from Russia."

The Opal pipeline carries gas from the Nord Stream pipeline to Germany and the Czech Republic. While the current restrictions permit 50% capacity of the pipeline for the delivery of Russian natural gas, the recent decision to extend Gazprom’s access by an additional 40% will allow for plans to expand Nord Stream's capacity, according to Reuters.

Sputnik News reported that the final 10% is a reserve for third countries, which may extend to 15 - 20% in case of high demand.

This objection comes a few months after Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) objected to the formation of a joint venture for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project, in July.

The Nord Stream 2 joint venture was to consist of ENGIE, Gazprom, OMV, Shell, Uniper and Wintershall, who have since withdrawn their request.

On 12 December, in relation to Poland’s stance on Nord Stream 2, Sputnik News cited the Third European Department Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergey Nechayev, as stating: “The unconstructive position taken by the Polish authorities, in our opinion, is politicised and runs counter to the interests of national business.”

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