New EU gas law has Nord Stream 2 loopholes - media

New EU gas law has Nord Stream 2 loopholes - media

The European Union reached a provisional deal on new rules governing import gas pipelines including the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Representatives of EU governments and the European Parliament approved a revision to gas-market legislation while scaling back hurdles for Nord Stream 2.

The deal keeps intact a French-German compromise proposal that last week helped break a deadlock among EU governments and opened the way for an accord with the 28-nation Parliament. The negotiations in Strasbourg lasted almost nine hours, ending just before midnight.

The Brussels-based commission said its proposal would end ambiguity over the European rules on gas-import infrastructure by making them explicitly cover all pipelines to and from the EU.

While the draft law builds on EU rules that prevent gas providers from controlling the transmission business and that require third-party access to pipelines, the French-German compromise being included in the final version of the new legislation creates loopholes for Nord Stream 2.

The French-German plan denies the regulatory authority in Denmark a decisive say over the project and puts that power primarily in the hands of German regulators, who could then seek and gain an exemption from the EU market-opening requirements as long as it didn’t hurt competition or supply, Bloomberg reported.

The deal is due to be scrutinized next week by national diplomats from the EU. Their sign-off would pave the way for final endorsements by EU governments and the 751-seat Parliament - steps that are usually formalities after negotiated accords.