Looks like Russia has outwitted the EU yet again.
Gazprom’s bid to tap into a pipeline meant to wean Europe off Russian gas threatens to undermine a pillar of European energy policy and slow plans to develop rival deposits in the east Mediterranean.
This article outlines how Russia plans to make use of the new Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) – which was intended as a means to reduce Europe’s reliance on Russian gas.
Unfortunately, EU ‘experts’ failed to spot a flaw in the plan to allow any company to bid to fill capacity in the expanded pipeline. Gazprom’s Alexander Medvedev said recently that the company was considering pumping gas through TAP;
“That would be very bad,” one EU official said. “It would be totally contrary to everything we have agreed with partners.”
Having prevented Russia from expanding gas exports via the South Stream project it’s not surprising that they see TAP as an alternative route into Europe’s lucrative gas market. But as usual with the EU, they haven’t grasped the full impact of their meddling;
EU sources said Russian gas flows via TAP may jar with the terms set by its financial backers, such as the European Investment Bank. The bank said it is carrying out due diligence.
At most, officials say they could extend an exemption from EU anti-trust rules to TAP in order to keep Gazprom out, but Brussels would require the firms and governments concerned to initiate the move.
And as usual, the EU’s solution is more regulation and red tape to cover up their failures.