The decision by the top court in the EU to curb Russian energy firm Gazprom’s use of the Opal gas pipeline, which links Nord Stream to Germany, has saved Poland from a ‘tragic’ gas shortage, its state oil and gas company admits.
According to Petr Wozniak, head of Poland’s state oil and gas company PGNIG, Gazprom’s continued operation of the Opal pipeline at full capacity would lead to terrible consequences for his country.
“This would lead to tragic supply interruptions, which are unacceptable for our gas transmission system and consumers,” Wozniak said at a Polish economic forum on as quoted by the Biznes Alert portal.
Wozniak stated that if the European Court of Justice (ECJ) had not decided to limit the transfer of Russian gas via the Opal pipeline, there “would not have [been] enough gas in southeastern Poland.” On the other hand, if the gas transfer via Opal was reduced, increased volumes of Russian gas would flow into Poland via Ukraine.
“These missing volumes of gas, which Gazprom should reduce transmitting via Opal, will be sent [to Poland] through Ukraine,” Wozniak said.
On September 10, the European Court annulled the 2016 European Commission decision to allow Gazprom use Opal to 100 percent of its capacity, which is 36 billion cubic meters per year. The decision was made on Poland’s demand, with Warsaw claiming Gazprom’s full use of Opal threatened gas supplies to central and eastern Europe.