Shell, Eni await fees before acting on loss of monopolies

The level of network distribution fees to be set by RAE, the Regulatory Authority for Energy, within the next six months will determine the action to be taken by Shell and Eni, respective shareholders in the EPA gas supply companies for wider Athens and Thessaloniki-Thessalia, with regards to their demands from the Greek state.

The EPA companies have prematurely lost their exclusive regional supply originally agreed to as a result of gas market reforms intended to generate competition in the market.

If the network distribution fee levels, to benefit the EPA companies, are deemed appropriate, then the EPA shareholders will not launch compensation procedures against the Greek state for the loss of their respective monopolies, part of the bailout agreement. If the distribution fee levels are deemed as being to low, the companies are sure to take action.

A highly-ranked official at Shell, which holds a 49 percent stake in the EPA company serving the wider Athens area, raised the issue just weeks ago to energy minister Panos Skourletis. The minister made clear that the state does not intend to discuss compensation packages.

As a result, shareholders of the three exisiting EPA gas supply companies will wait for the distribution fee levels to be set before deciding on any future action.

As has been reported, as of 2017, gas consumers will be charged separate fees for distribution and trade, as part of the overall plan to generate competition in the sector. RAE must set the new network distribution fees by June, 2016.

DEPA, the Public Gas Corporation, holds majority 51 percent stakes in all three EPA gas supply companies. Shell holds a 49% stake in the company serving the wider Athens region, while the Italian multinational Eni holds 49% stakes in the Thessalia and Thessaloniki operations.