Single market for gas under attack, says EC
It’s a clause that seems like a slap in the face at efforts to increase Europe’s energy security.
A piece on EurActiv.com reports that the European Commission is chiding Poland for a territorial clause that prevents it from being able to sell any gas surpluses to its neighbors when it has more than it needs.
The regulation is being called the “Gazprom clause” and it allegedly breaches EU single market rules. Through it, the Russian energy enterprise is able to charge different countries different prices. In whispers it’s called the Gazprom clause because the Russian gas giant is likely pressuring Poland to enforce its will and save gas only for the domestic Polish market. Still, EurActiv.com notes that the EC is not directly calling out Gazprom.
Recently, Poland has been more stand-offish with Gazprom, perhaps banking on the possibility of ensuring domestic energy security through future shale gas production, even proposing a re-negotiation clause with the company on a long-term contract. Experts agree.
According to the Commission, Poland violates its obligation to store gas on its territory, discriminating against EU companies that export gas to Poland and forcing them to seek ways to transport gas to storage facilities.
The EC has another qualm with Poland, because foreign enterprises do not have access to the Yamal pipeline which crosses through Poland delivering Russian gas to Germany. If access to that infrastructure were granted to other EU enterprises, natural gas, perhaps a surplus from Germany, could be sent in the other direction back to Poland.
Such European measures, writes EurActiv.com are designed to address the continent’s security of supply.
These are suggestions from the EC for the moment, but if Poland doesn’t react the country could be taken to court.
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