Energy 29 May, 2023 7:30 am   
COMMENTS: Joanna Słowińska

Polish Briefing: Orlen finds more oil than expected I Poland will shoot to protect its Baltic infrastructure I Will an unexpected amendment upend Poland’s wind business?

Photo_-Ole-Jørgen-Bratland-_-Statoil-Statoil-Gina-Krog-field-in-the-North-Sea-14576001 Mining platform at the Gina Krog deposit. Picture by Ole Jørgen Bratland/Statoil

Orlen finds more oil in Norway than expected

PKN Orlen has examined the Øst Frigg oil field in Norway, in which its subsidiary PGNiG Upstream Norway holds a 12.3 percent stake. It turns out that the deposits there may revolve around the level of 40-90 million boe (barrel of oil equivalent). This is twice as much as Poles had expected.

PGNiG Upstream Norway, a subsidiary of the Orlen Group, holds a 12.3 percent stake in the Øst Frigg deposit on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The results of the exploration well showed that the recoverable resources of the deposit may double, from 18-45 to 40-90 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

“The preliminary results of the exploration work at the Øst Frigg deposit turned out to be surprisingly good. The additional oil resources found there will strengthen Orlen Group’s position as one of the leading players on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, ” said Daniel Obajtek, CEO of Orlen.

If this discovery is confirmed, the oil reserves in the Øst Frigg deposit of the Orlen Group will be 5-11 million boe. The company emphasizes that the exact estimation of the deposit will require further analysis, and the result has yet to be confirmed by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

PKN Orlen is a partner of the Yggdrasil development plan, where one of the largest mining projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is being implemented. Øst Frigg is one of the eight deposits in this project, the total value of which is expected to reach approx. 115 billion Norwegian kroner (approx. PLN 45 billion). The Orlen Group’s share in the 8 concessions located in the Yggdrasil area is about 13 percent.

PKN Orlen / Jedrzej Stachura

Poland will shoot if its Baltic energy infrastructure is at risk

The Sejm adopted a law allowing Poles to shoot at objects threatening critical energy infrastructure in the Baltic.

The amendment to the Law on the Protection of Shipping and Seaports provides that the Minister of National Defense, who came out with this initiative, will be able to issue a decision to sink an enemy ship, a floating object or shoot down a drone if it threatens critical infrastructure in the Baltic Sea. The bill mentions the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline by name, but it will also protects other important elements of energy infrastructure: the LNG terminal, the naftoport, and the planned nuclear power plant on the coast.

The Ministry of Defense will be able to give permission to shoot down the object as a last resort. The Poles will also be able to conduct anti-terrorist operations throughout the maritime area that belongs to them. The Border Guard is to have a permanent base in the port pool in Świnoujście, where the LNG terminal is located.

The sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and a series of incidents that followed, prompted the European Union and NATO to strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure.

Wojciech Jakóbik

UC74 bomb: wind industry warns of capital flight from Poland to Germany

According to the Polish Wind Energy Association, the UC74 update amending the Energy Law is intended to collapse the market for guarantees of origin, thereby depriving Poles of sales markets abroad and threatening capital outflow to Germany.

The government has proposed an amendment no. UC74 that will change the way a write-off is calculated for a fund that collects revenue from the sale of guarantees of origin and settlements for financial instruments, including corporate Power Purchase Agreements (cPPA). The guarantees energy originates from renewable sources, which customers in foreign markets are increasingly seeking.

The change will reduce the availability of such guarantees and force the buyers to look for them abroad at a higher price, raising the cost of products from Poland and reducing their competitiveness. “In addition, the Polish industry will be forced to seek guarantees of origin outside the country, which will cause an outflow of money from our country and thus will mean subsidizing the development of foreign sources of renewables (e.g. German),” the Association explains.

It is also possible that the market for guarantees of origin will collapse. “The attempt to <seal the system> proposed in the amendment may cause the collapse of the guarantee of origin market in Poland, because the majority of eligible entities will not apply for them. This will translate into a significant reduction in the supply of guarantees of origin, the number of which today does not correspond to the demand for them, which is reflected in the high dynamics of price growth over the past years,” says PSEW.

“The consequence of the inability of energy-intensive consumers to obtain guarantees of origin (…) will be an obligation to reimburse the compensation received. This situation may prove ruinous for many industrial customers, who are already affected by drastic increases in electricity prices,” write industry representatives from the Forum of Electricity Consumers quoted by PSEW.

Polish Wind Energy Association / Wojciech Jakóbik