Polish Briefing 4 June, 2020 9:00 am   
COMMENTS: Mateusz Gibała

Polish Briefing: Gazprom faces a penalty from UOKiK for ambiguities around Nord Stream 2

What goes on in Poland on the 4th of June.

Gazprom faces a penalty from UOKiK for ambiguities around Nord Stream 2

The head of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection initiated proceedings against Gazprom for non-cooperation during the antitrust investigation. The group faces a penalty of up to 50 million euros.

The Gazprom case concerns the proceedings regarding the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. In 2018, UOKiK charged six companies with financing the construction of the gas pipeline without the legally required consent. These are companies belonging to international groups: Gazprom from Russia, Engie Energy from Switzerland and four from the Netherlands: Uniper, OMV, Shell and Wintershall.

At the beginning of 2020, the President of the Office asked Gazprom to provide documents relevant to the case. These were contracts concluded by the subsidiary Gazprom with other companies financing the construction of Nord Stream 2. These were primarily contracts for the transmission, distribution, sale, supply and storage of gas fuels. Despite his obligation to cooperate with the Office, the entrepreneur did not provide this information.

– The regulations are clear and the same for everyone, but Gazprom has refused to provide documents relevant to our investigation several times. The Russian gas giant cannot act above the law, which is why I initiated proceedings against Gazprom for imposing a penalty for failure to provide information during the proceedings. According to the law, the company is threatened with a financial sanction of up to EUR 50 million – explains the president of UOKiK Tomasz Chróstny.

Poland reduces dependence on oil imports from Russia

Russia’s share in oil imports to Poland in 2019 fell to 61,5 percent compared to 68 percent in 2018, the National Bank of Poland said. Deliveries of natural gas sent to Poland via pipelines decreased for the second year in a row.

The National Bank of Poland said in the balance of payments for the fourth quarter of 2019 that last year the value of fuel imports to Poland decreased by 4,6 percent year-on-year. – After oil and coal supplies reached record levels in 2018, they decreased in 2019. The volume of coal imports decreased by 13,4 percent, i.e. to 16,7 million tons, and the volume of crude oil imports decreased by 3,4 percent year-on-year to 26,3 million tons – we read in the report. According to Eurostat data (Energy Statistics), supplies of natural gas sent to Poland via the gas pipeline also decreased for the second year in a row. Imports of crude oil were also smaller compared to 2018. On the other hand, an increase in the volume of supplies was recorded in LNG and electricity imports. The NBP emphasizes that the start of a long-term contract with the American supplier Cheniere Energy contributed to the increase in LNG gas imports.