The EU has launched a final call to arms to complete the existing Gas Directive and clarify the EU energy principles by common rules for gas pipelines, which enter the internal gas market. The objective is to step up efforts to maintain viable alternative gas transit flows after failing to derail the Nord Stream 2 link. The new rules are about to apply to existing and future, domestic and offshore pipelines alike.
The initiative is an attempted response to concerns over the increasing EU energy dependency, which is only expected to be exacerbated over the coming years. The amendment of the Energy Package is expected to ensure that all major pipelines in the EU, or entering EU territory, are operated under the same transparency regime and are accessible to all other operators. This approach is believed to maximise competition and avoid conflicts of interest between operators, ensuring at the same time the resilience of the EU’s gas supplies as well as fair prices.
The present proposal delineates the EU’s attempt to break specific energy export monopolies, providing a new incentive for existing and potential competitors to commence negotiations with the EU. Despite, the business as usual appearances, the proposal shuffles the cards in the ongoing energy game in the EU. Moreover, it is likely to trigger heated reactions in an attempt to open up the energy market to new business opportunities by diversifying the energy sector and reducing dependency on imports.