RAE decision on natural gas tariffs expected this week

RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, is expected to announce its decision on new gas supply tariffs for 2017 within the current week. This news is crucial as it will determine whether ENI and Shell, holders of 49 percent stakes in three EPA gas supply companies covering the wider Athens area, Thesaloniki and Thessaly, will take legal action against the Greek State in response to premature ends of their regional monopolies.

If ENI and Shell deem the new gas supply tariffs as satisfactory then they will forget about the legal action they have contemplated taking. If not, then legal action by both can be expected. The two companies may also make one final attempt to gain compensation money.

RAE has already endorsed distribution tariffs and now needs to approve trading tariffs, which will enable Shell and ENI to assess the financial damage caused by the premature ends of their regional monopolies.

In 2001, Shell and ENI secured trading rights for 30 years in their respective markets. These arrangements were nullified as a result of bailout-required natural gas market reforms.

The recently replaced energy minister Panos Skourletis has made clear that the Greek State will not offer any compensation payments to Shell and ENI. His successor Giorgos Stathakis has obviously yet to examine the matter.

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, holds 51 percent stakes in all three EPA gas supply companies.