Polish market No. 8 215/2014

Page 44



energy security

is unchallenged “I get the feeling that Poles lack what I call a “Jagiellonian” approach – a certain self-confidence. Being where we are in Europe, having such a young society and so huge reserves of energy resources we should be a country that guarantees both its own security and that of its neighbours. And yet we have somehow chosen to give it up,” says Andrzej Sikora, PhD Eng., President of the Board of Instytut Studiów Energetycznych Sp. z o.o., in an interview with Jerzy Bojanowicz.

In 2011 you defended your PhD dissertation entitled “Liquefied Natural Gas Versus Other Sources of Importing Gas to the European Union” at the Faculty of Drilling, Oil and Gas of the AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków. Did it make any practical conclusions? First of all, it was preceded by work that employed models, or necessary calculations. The most interesting proposition was rather subversive - the statement that liquefied natural gas (LNG) was an important but insufficient addition to Polish energy security. It was particularly unwelcome in the context of the Świnoujście LNG terminal under construction. Calculations showed that without the ability to participate in the entire process, in a certain guaranteed natural gas supply chain, having only its final part – the gas terminal but no transport logistics secured, not to mention the extraction process - the supply of LNG and its regasification is indeed necessary, but far from enough. At that time, it was really subversive. Today everyone will say that it’s quite obvious. pm

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Do you think that the Government should define the role of Polish Petroleum and Gas Mining (PGNiG)? Should it continue to be a joint-stock company aiming at development, or should it take responsibility for the energy security of the country? How do you see its role? The worst-case scenario is like when we can’t answer the question of whether we should drive on the right or on the left and we reassure all drivers “Go on. It’ll be fine...” That’s where we are on PGNiG today. Mind you, no other Polish business has a statutory provision compelling it to safeguard energy security – neither PKN Orlen nor the Polish Energy Group (PGE). By a strange stroke of fate, PGNiG has such an obligation in its articles of association, even though natural gas isn’t the energy resource of fundamental significance to the Polish economy, as its share in the primary energy mix is only 14%. 97% of all petroleum consumed in our country is imported from Russia. Is it a problem for us? Not really. All our cars run on pm

this oil, processed in Polish refineries. Even though 6 million Polish households – one quarter - don’t have a gas connection, PGNiG has a statutory obligation to ensure the energy security of the State! Another issue is the fact that the privatisation process of PGNiG, or actually – its flotation on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, was going on in parallel with the implementation of Directive 2003/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas, and with Poland’s accession to the European Union, that is various regulations regarding State aid, competition and so on. At that time, PGNiG was in a tight financial situation and it was difficult to add capital to it in any other way than by issuing shares. Still, we can now look at that situation in a different light and conclude that the very process of going public, particularly in terms of upstream, was strange, if not simply wrong.

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