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Poland’s competitive market

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

Domestic interest

PGNiG is Poland’s government owned upstream operator. Within the downstream sector in Poland, PKN Orlen and Grupa Lotos are both partly privatised and are responsible for Poland’s refining activities. The two companies are also major players in fuel distribution in the country.

Grupa Lotos operates a 124 600 bpd facility in Gdansk that is currently undergoing an upgrade. The company also has 439 service stations spread across the country. Lotos is now looking to diversify in to upstream operations, according to BMI. Lotos has already entered into an agreement with PGNiG to explote blocks in Szczecin.

PKN Orlen controls approximately 40% of the fuel market in Poland, and 26% of the retail segment as it has 1803 outlets across the country. The company also owns 76% of the country’s refining capacity and operates the country’s largest plant with a processing capacity of 283 900 bpd, according to BMI. PKN Orlen also has Czech interests through Unipetrol, a subsidiary, and now owns 100% of the Czech refining sector.

Polskie LNG Company is currently exploring the possibility to expand the Swinoujsco regasification terminal, according to BMI. The terminal is on the Baltic Sea coast and is expected to be online by the end of this year. The European Investment Bank has reportedly said it will lend US$ 134.68 million towards supporting the expansion of Poland’s gas transmission network, which includes this LNG project.

Foreign interest

BMI has said that there is a considerable level of interest from international oil companies (IOCs) in Poland’s downstream sector. However, these companies are limited to fuel distribution and very rarely see inside the refining sector. BP, Shell and Statoil are the biggest foreign competitors in Poland’s fuel distribution market. BP owns approximately 450 retail outlets in Poland and has 5% of the fuel distribution market share. Statoil operates 290 service stations and has 4% of the fuel market share. Shell has 349 outlets and also runs 5% of the market.

When it comes to the shale revolution, the US is committed to supporting Poland in the development of its own shale gas industry. A statement from the White House, BMI reports, read, ‘Poland’s efforts to increase its energy security by diversifying its energy supply and strengthening its energy infrastructure…We are committed to sharing best practices on shale gas development and facilitating consultations between our civilian nuclear regulatory authorities, and US companies are engaged in Poland’s efforts to develop its shale gas and renewable energy sectors, as well as its nuclear power sector.’

Adapted from a report by Claira Lloyd.

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