EU considers court action against Gazprom, Nafttogaz

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, Jan. 15 -- European Commission Pres. Jose Manuel Barroso advised European companies "to take the matter to the courts" if OAO Gazprom and Naftogaz don't resume soon the movement of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine.

Barroso also called for concerted action by European Union states to find alternative energy supplies if the "unacceptable and incredible" problem isn't resolved soon.

Barroso reiterated that EU members should use the €5 billion to finance energy interconnections within the EU member states.

The EU gas coordination group met Jan. 9 to identify helpful measures for countries suffering most from gas shortages, but concluded only inadequate short-term measures are available. Those measures include increased production from European countries, sharing larger withdrawals from storage, fuel switching, and limiting industrial consumption of gas. Even LNG would be of little help as terminals with spare capacity are not connected to those countries most in need of supply.

In an extraordinary session Jan. 12, energy ministers agreed on the need to develop transparency of physical gas flows, enhance storage capacity, increase strategic stocks, and make regional and bilateral solidarity arrangements.

An assessment of network connections identifying gaps and diversified routes and sourcesis to be submitted at the Feb. 19 energy council.

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