Greece: SOCAR troubles with new Gov regulations on gas network fees

, SEE Energy News

Managing Director of the local subsidiary of State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), Amar Mammadov said that the company is dissatisfied with the amendment intended to reduce the regulatory asset base of Greek natural gas transmission system operator DESFA, which is used to determine DESFA’s revenues. The amendment was submitted by the Greek Minister of Energy and Environment Panos Skourletis.

Minister Skourletis justified the move with the claim that existing regulations would lead to gas network usage fee hikes of about 68 %, which would negatively impact both households and local industry. However, Mammadov explained that SOCAR never insisted on the 68 % increase of DESFA’s network usage fees for households consumers and expressed his dissatisfaction with this move by the Greek Ministry, which was made without prior consultations with SOCAR.

In December 2013, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) has won a tender for the purchase of 66 % stake in Greek DESFA for 400 million euros. However, the European Commission found that this deal is not in compliance with the EU regulations, so SOCAR has to allow another EU company or companies to acquire a total of 17 % shares in DESFA in order to complete the deal. In order to complete the sale of 49 % of DESFA’s shares to SOCAR, Greece has to sell additional 17 % of the shares to a company from the European Union, while SOCAR also has a say in the selection of the new shareholder. However, the latest move made by the Greek Government, along with weak interest for the purchase of stake in DESFA from the European operator, could push this deal even further away from realization, transmits