Gas Flows Rise in German Opal
Gas flows through the German Opal system rose by about 15% August 2 day on day, according to data on the transmission system operator Gascade's website. The percentage is approximate as the physical flows vary from hour to hour.
Auctions for capacity started August 1, following the decision by the German court to allow Gazprom to use more of the capacity in the line, pending a final European Court of Justice decision on the legality of the European Commission's decision to lift the ceiling, which could be a few years away.
Flows jumped by about 6mn kW from 0600 CET August 2, which is the start of the gas day; and as of 1600 CET the line was carrying some 34mn kW. That 6mn kW rise equates to about 4.6bn m³/yr, or about 13% of the 36bn m³/yr line; before the ruling, Gazprom was not supposed to use more than half the capacity, or 18bn m³/yr although it apparently on some days was using more than that pro rata. Now it may use between 80% and 90% of Opal.
Although it was expected, following the European Court of Justice's favourable ruling July 21, the decision was enacted in Germany only this week, and the effect of the ruling might take a few days to be seen in pipeline flows. There will be changes made to compression units within Russia to divert gas away from Ukraine and towards the Nord Stream entry point at Vyborg, near the Russia-Finland border. As the export monopoly, only Gazprom may put gas into the German grid at Greifswald, where Nord Stream lands, and so Gazprom is the sole booker.