On May 26, Spain’s government published Royal Decree 335/2018 (RD 335/2018) in the Official State Gazette (BOE), modifying various royal decrees regulating the natural gas sector. Those regulations are now in force and will assist in the development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a fuel for marine and land transportation.
The declared purpose of RD 335/2018 is to promote the use of liquefied natural gas infrastructures, making capacity contracting services more flexible, so that it is possible to achieve a better use of the infrastructure and storage capacity of LNG, as well as to enhance development oriented towards the supply of this fuel in maritime transport. Spain is positioning itself to take advantage of the global uptake of LNG as a marine fuel, with successful bunkering operations completed this year in the ports of Bilbao and Cartagena.
It is intended to increase gas revenues, reinforcing its economic sustainability and contribute to achieving the objectives of Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. It encourages the uptake of natural gas in place of petroleum products, with the aim of limiting pollution and climate change.
Royal Decree 335/2018 modifies: (i) Royal Decree 949/2001, of 3 August, regulating third-party access to gas facilities and establishing an integrated economic system for the natural gas sector (RD 949/2001); (ii) Royal Decree 1434/2002, of December 27, which regulates the activities of transportation, distribution, marketing, supply and authorization procedures for natural gas installations (RD 1434/2002) and; (iii) Royal Decree 984/2015, of October 30, which regulates the organized gas market and the access of third parties to the natural gas system facilities, in order to regulate and update certain aspects in the operation of the gas system.
Royal Decree 335/2018 is available here (Spanish).
Sources: Government of Spain; Herbert Smith Freehills LLP