14:43 GMT +322 October 2019
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    OPAL pipeline near Weisenborn, Saxony

    EU Commission Grants Gazprom Access to Additional 40% of Opal Capacity

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    The European Commission has expanded Russia’s energy giant Gazprom access to the Opal gas pipeline's capacity, a source close to the commission's leadership said Friday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — The Opal pipeline connects the Nord Stream pipeline with Europe’s gas transportation network. However, European restrictions permit Gazprom only 50 percent of the pipeline for Russian natural gas to be delivered across Germany to the Czech Republic. The restrictions are outlined in the European Union’s Third Energy Package which reserves the other half for independent gas suppliers.

    The EU Commission allowed Gazprom to use another 40 percent of the pipeline'scapacity, preserving the last 10 percent as a reserve for the third countries, which could be extended to 15-20 percent in case of high demand, however, should the contrary be the case, the Russian company may be granted pipeline's full capacity, the source told journalists.

    The arrangement is valid for 22 years, the source added.

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