“The takeover of PAO Gazprom shares by Europol Gaz and ORLEN taking control of the Transit Gas Pipeline System will be of fundamental importance for the public interest and security of our country, not only in terms of energy. For decades, Poland has been dependent on natural gas supplies from Russia. Just 10 years ago, they constituted approximately 80 per cent of the import of this resource. Gazprom used gas supplies for many years as a tool for political pressure on Poland and other countries in the region. This has changed,” said Daniel Obajtek, President of ORLEN’s Management Board.
The acquisition of Europol Gaz shares is based on the provisions of the “sanctions act” passed in April 2022, implemented by Poland’s Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration and Minister of Development and Technology.
“Since 2022, we have been 100 per cent independent from Russian gas. ORLEN currently has fully diversified sources of supply for this resource, which it continues to develop. Thanks to this, in the upcoming winter and in the following years, gas consumers in Poland are secure. Today’s decision is another step toward restoring full control of Polish entities over the country’s strategic gas infrastructure,” Mr Obajtek added.
The first decision was made by the Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration to include PAO Gazprom on the Polish sanctions list and freeze the financial assets of PAO Gazprom, including securities. Subsequently, a temporary management board was established over the shares owned by PAO Gazprom by the Development and Technology Minister under the sanctions act.
The temporary management board covered all shares in Europol Gaz belonging to PAO Gazprom which was necessary to ensure the continued operation of Europol Gaz. In line with the sanctions act, the Development and Technology Minister then issued a decision based on which, after it becomes final, Europol Gaz will become the owner of the company’s shares, previously owned by PAO Gazprom.
ORLEN previously owned 48 per cent of Europol Gaz shares. In accordance with the applicable regulations, ORLEN had previously notified Poland’s President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection to acquire exclusive control over Europol Gaz.
On 9 October, the President of the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, following an antimonopoly proceeding, issued a decision granting approval for ORLEN to take over control of Europol Gaz’s transit gas pipeline system.