Polish gas giant Orlen seizes Russia’s Gazprom’s shares in Polish portion of Yamal pipeline

Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom logo. (EPA-EFE/MAXIM SHIPENKOV)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

Poland’s state energy giant Orlen is taking over ownership of the Polish section of the Yamal pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Europe, in a move that will see Russia’s Gazprom lose its stake in the pipeline.

“We are putting an end to the Russian flows in the Polish gas transit system,” declared Orlen’s CEO, Daniel Obajtek after news that Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK)  approved Orlen’s plans to take complete control of EuRoPol Gaz, the entity that owns the Polish section of the pipeline. In its decision this week, UOKiK found no antitrust grounds to oppose Orlen’s takeover of Gazprom’s stake.

Until now, EuRoPol Gaz has been jointly owned by PGNiG, a Polish state gas firm that was itself taken over by Orlen, and Russian state energy firm Gazprom, with each holding 48 percent stakes.

After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland’s government took temporary control over Gazprom’s assets on the basis of a sanctions law. 

In a statement issued by Orlen, Obajtek said that “the takeover of Gazprom’s shares… will be of fundamental importance to the public interest and security of our country, not only in terms of energy.”

The value of the transaction will be €174 million but, as a result of sanctions against Russia, the funds will not be paid to Gazprom but instead will be frozen in a special bank account.

The Polish section of the Yamal pipeline runs for 684 kilometers from Poland’s eastern border with Belarus to its western border with Germany. It links Russian gas fields with Poland and Germany via Belarus.

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