Gas Transmission Grid Fees to be Regulated by Federal Network Agency

Fees for long distance gas transmission have to be approved by the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency), the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf ( VI-3 Kart 67/08 (V)) ruled on 21 April 2010, dismissing an appeal by Statoil Deutschland Transport GmbH.

According to the court, Statoil did not prove that there was sufficient competition with regard to large parts of the long distance gas piplines in Germany.

In autumn 2008, the Federal Network Agency had concluded likewise regarding the grids of the ten nationwide operating long distance gas pipeline operators. Hence, it ordered them to have grid fees approved by the agency. All companies had lodged appeals with the Higher Regional Court in Düsseldorf (OLG Düsseldorf), claiming there was sufficient competition so that an exemption clause applied.

OLG Düsseldorf had already rejected this argument in the eight other cases preceding the Statoil case, dismissing the cases brought by Dong Energy Pipelines GmbH, Eni Gas Transport Deutschland S.p.A, Erdgas Münster Transport GmbH & Co. KG, Gasunie Deutschland Transport Services GmbH, GRTgaz Deutschland GmbH, Ontras – VNG Gastransport GmbH, Thyssengas GmbH and Wingas Transport GmbH & Co. KG. E.On Gastransportnetz GmbH had withdrawn its appeal before the decision of OLG Düsseldorf.

While the other rulings have already become legally binding, Statoil is still entitled to an appeal (Rechtsbeschwerde) with the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) within one month.

The president of Bundesnetzagentur, Matthias Kurth, called the ruling a landmark decision for the future of energy regulation.

Source: Bundesnetzagentur, Press Release OLG Düsseldorf

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