13:11 GMT +318 January 2018
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    A test treatment facility at the Portovaya booster station, where the second section of the Nord Stream gas pipeline was launched. (File)

    Russia May Drop Nord Stream-2 Project Over Greater Access to Opal Pipeline

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    The Russia-initiated Nord Stream-2 pipeline construction project may not be implemented as Gazprom could lose interest in it due to gaining expanded access to the Opal gas pipeline, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said on Monday.

    WARSAW (Sputnik) – The Opal pipeline connects the Nord Stream pipeline with Europe’s gas transportation network. However, European restrictions permit Russian energy giant 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 that reserves the other half for independent gas suppliers.

    "Russians will not need [Nord Stream-2]. Thanks to the Opal, they can now increase the gas flow through the Nord Stream-1 that had not been fully used. That will be enough for them … According to unofficial data, expanded access to the Opal and therefore increased transit through the Nord Stream-1 may satisfy Gazprom so that it withdraws from the Nord Stream-2," Waszczykowski told the Onet media outlet.

    In October, the European Commission expanded Gazprom's access to the Opal gas pipeline by additional 40 percent, 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.

    Russia is engaged in constructing the Nord Stream-2 pipeline that aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine.

    Related:

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    Despite All Obstacles Europe Needs Nord Stream-2 Gas Pipeline
    Nord Stream-2 Pipeline Will 'Guarantee Europe's Energy Security'
    Tags:
    gas, Opal pipeline, Nord Stream-2, Poland, Russia
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