Press articles and reports

DRAFT OF NEW DIVERSIFICATION REGULATION

KAMIL IWICKI „Nowa Energia” nr 02-03/2015

The Regulation of the Council of Ministers dated 24 October 2000, on the minimum level of diversification of sources of imported gas is one of the barriers to the development of a competitive natural gas market in Poland. Therefore, at the beginning of 2015, the Ministry of Economy started work on the draft for a new Regulation to repeal and replace the current act. A move that has been long-awaited by the gas industry.

The article from W&W’S Kamil Iwicki  covers the most important provisions of the current Regulation, and forms the conclusion that such provisions are inadequate for the present situation on the natural gas market, in particular in relation to the ever greater degree of competitiveness in the market. The present arrangements for gas supply diversification are discussed and reasons are given for why the obligations laid down in the Regulation are very difficult to implement by Polish energy companies. The article also indicates that there are further reasons why it was decided to prepare a new Regulation.

The article analyzes the changes which have necessitated the establishment of a new draft of the Regulation and examines the current problems of interpretation and application of the 2000 Regulation. The most frequent complaints in relation to the current diversification Regulation concern the difficulties of interpretation and in particular the interpretation of fundamental concepts such as “import” or “country of origin of gas” which are not defined in the 2000 Regulation or in the Energy Law. The draft Regulation is an attempt to address these ambiguities.

The article, “The draft of the new diversification Regulation” was published in the latest issue of the magazine “Nowa Energia ” No. 02-03 / 2015, p. 24 – 26.

WHITE PAPER ON PUBLIC CONTRACTS AND NEW DIRECTIVE

KATARZYNA DZIĄĆKO „Energetyka Cieplna i Zawodowa” nr 3/2015

GAS TRADING OBLIGATION AS AN INSTRUMENT OF GAS MARKET LIBERALIZATION

WOJCIECH BIGAJ Edited volume "Legal Conditions of Competition in the Gas Market" (ISBN 978-83-255-6723-1), edited by. B. Popowska, prof. E. Kosinski, Dr. P. Lissoni (Poznan University of Adam Mickiewicz), published by CH Beck 2015.

The gas trading obligation in Poland was introduced by the amendment to the Energy Law which came into force on 09.11.2013. The implementation of the obligation for the public trading of natural gas was to create competitive conditions in the wholesale market for natural gas, which in the longer term are to lead to the release of natural gas prices from the administrative control of the state.

The article describes the effects of the functioning of the trading obligation on competition in the gas market. It also indicates the origin of these obligations, as well as the legal regulation commitments relating specifically to gas (power generators have been under a public trading obligation since 2010).

The article by W&W’s Wojciech Bigaj on gas trading obligations is published in the edited volume “Legal Conditions of Competition in the Gas Market” (ISBN 978-83-255-6723-1), edited by. B. Popowska, prof. E. Kosinski, Dr. P. Lissoni (Poznan University of Adam Mickiewicz), published by CH Beck 2015.

The edited volume is a summary of the discussions held during the National Scientific Conference -“Competition in the Gas Market. Legal Conditions.”, which was held on the 3rd and 4th March 2013 in the Faculty of Law of Poznan University of Adam Mickiewicz. The event was under the honorary patronage of the Minister of Economy, the Minister of the Treasury, the Ministry of Justice, the President of the Energy Regulatory Office, the President of the OCCP, and others. Wojciech Bigaj was a speaker at the Conference and presented a paper entitled, “The Small Energy Tripack as an instrument for the liberalization of the gas market.”

THE COMING INTO FORCE OF REMIT – THE MONITORING SYSTEM FOR THE WHOLESALE ENERGY AND GAS MARKETS. AN ANALYSIS OF THE DUTIES OF MARKET PARTICIPANTS

TOMASZ BRZEZIŃSKI AND ANNA MATHEWS Collective work "Zarządzanie energią i teleinformatyka ZET 2015" (ISBN 978-83-937928-7-0), edited by. Assoc. Eng. Henry Kaproń (Warsaw University of Technology)

REMIT entered into force in 2011. However, some of the responsibilities set out therein were only clarified after approval by the European Commission Implementing Regulation of December 2014. The aim of REMIT is to increase the integrity and transparency of wholesale energy markets, in the interests of end users, through the fostering of open and fair competition.

The main duties introduced by REMIT include the obligation to publically publish internal information, the prohibition of insider trading, and the imposition of non-manipulation in wholesale energy markets. Furthermore, the REMIT Implementing Regulation imposes an obligation to report transactions to the regulatory agency –  ACER, and imposes the obligation to provide basic data on the capacity and use of facilities, as well as the obligation for the registration of market participants in the register maintained by the Energy Regulatory Office (URE).

The article describes each of the above duties, giving also the penalties for non-compliance or violations. Proposals for criminal and administrative penalties were included in the draft amendment to the Energy Law to implement REMIT.

The authors also identified the REMIT competent authorities for monitoring wholesale energy markets as the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) and the national regulatory authority (in Poland this being the URE).

The article by Tomasz Brzezinski and Anna Mathews of W&W on the obligations imposed by REMIT for energy companies appeared in the collective work “Zarządzanie energią i teleinformatyka ZET 2015″ edited by prof. Assoc. Eng. Henry Kaproń (University of Warsaw).

The entire article is available in PDF format below.

SURVEYING AFTER THE AMENDMENT – CONCERNS AND PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE AMENDMENT OF THE SURVEYING AND CARTOGRAPHIC ACT

AGATA DOMAŃSKA „Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa” nr 1/2015

The Amendment to the Surveying and Cartography act of 5 June 2014 introduces significant changes to the system of purchaser’s access to surveying data as well as the fees. The author extensively discusses these two important issues, and also discusses how to solve the problems caused by the absence of transitional provisions in the Amendment. Also included is how the changes affect the situation of energy companies and deals with the distribution of gaseous fuels or energy.

The Amendment to the Surveying and Cartographic Act partially entered into force in July 2014 with the remainder coming into force on 1st January 2015.

The author analysis the changes to the Act and considers their current legal status: “Before the coming into force of the Amendment, survey data was acquired on the basis of a civil law contract, while the Amendment introduced a type of special license for the buyers to use the data – the buyers became licensees. A requirement for a civil contract was changed to an administration process.”

The provisions governing fees before the Amendment were the provisions of the Regulations of the Minister of Infrastructure of 19 February 2004. On charges for surveying and cartographic activities and information provision, as well as for the commissioning of maps and extracts from land registration records, the Amendment of 2014 eliminated the distinction between basic fees and operational charges. There were also changes to the regulations concerning charges.

The author indicates that the biggest weakness of the Amendment is the lack of transitional provisions. Consequently there are no regulations on how to treat the new rules in relation to civil law contracts concluded under the previous regime. It is also noted that the fees paid prior to the Amendment were under a method of calculation which has changed considerably. Some of the administrators of data – regional councils (starostwo powiatowe)- acting on behalf of the Treasury,  have considered civil contracts null and void from the date of entry into force of the Amendment, although the Amendment itself does not give any basis for this policy. Also, the Amendment does not provide for the updating of data and therefore the buyer is not able to receive updates as guaranteed in the their contract. As pointed out by the author – “At the moment, the local authority district offices are refusing to update the data on the basis of agreements for access to data and they are initiating administrative legal proceedings.”

The article discusses the legal gap created because of the absence of transitional provisions in the amended Act, taking into account, in the author’s opinion, the position of the Chief Surveyor, amongst others.

The article ” Surveying after the Amendment – Concerns and problems associated with the Amendment of the Surveying and Cartographic Act ” was published in the latest issue of the bimonthly ” Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa ” (No. 1/2015). We invite you to familiarize yourself with the contents of the article, which is available on our website in PDF form.

IMPROVING MARKET CONTRACTORS – AMENDMENTS TO THE “PUBLIC PROCUREMENT LAW”

CATHERINE DZIĄĆKO „Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa” No. 8/2014

The paper primarily focuses on the remuneration obligations payable to the contractor in contracts concluded for a period longer than 12 months, as specified in the new paragraph 5 of the amended Article 142 of the PPL. The author argues that the changes associated with the price adjustment mechanisms of long-term contracts “can cause the greatest economic consequences for economic operators on the market.”

The paper primarily focuses on the remuneration obligations payable to the contractor in contracts concluded for a period longer than 12 months, as specified in the new paragraph 5 of the amended Article 142 of the PPL. The author argues that the changes associated with the price adjustment mechanisms of long-term contracts “can cause the greatest economic consequences for economic operators on the market.”

There already is, of course, the possibility for the ‘alignment’ of remuneration in the form of an automatic price adjustment mechanism or the opportunity to amend a contract, which may be introduced to an agreement on the basis of Article 358 (1), paragraph 2 of the “Civil Code”. However, the application of the provisions on increasing the remuneration for the contractor has, so far, proved very popular because of the difficulties of precise budgeting.

Attention is also given to the transitional provisions relating to long-term contracts which were concluded before the entry into force of the amended provisions of the PPL. These transitional provisions allow parties to an agreement to renegotiate salaries.

The paper concludes that the introduced amendments will significantly contribute to the proper development of economic operators in the energy industry.

Article Fri. “Improving market performers” was published in the latest issue of the bimonthly “Thermal energy and professional” (No. 8/2014). We encourage you to read the publication in the magazine or to download an article by Catherine Dziąćko from our website (PDF below)

“Improving Market Contractors” is published in the latest issue of the bimonthly publication “Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa” (No. 8/2014). The whole article (Polish language version) can be viewed in the publications section of our website.

LEGAL FRAMEWORK GOVERNING THE EXPLOITATION OF HYDROCARBONS IN POLAND, CZECH REPUBLIC AND THE EUROPEAN UNION. ANALYSIS AND COMPARISON OF SELECTED REGULATIONS

WOJCIECH BIGAJ, ANNA MATHEWS Kosciuszko Institute Report "The development of shale gas in Poland and its prospects in the Czech Republic - analysis and recommendations", ed. I. Albrycht

The production of hydrocarbons in Poland is regulated by the Geological and…

The production of hydrocarbons in Poland is regulated by the Geological and Mining Law, which has recently been amended. The new regulations make it much easier for investors to conduct shale gas, among others, exploration, appraisal and exploitation. In an article co-authored by Wojciech Bigaj and Anna Mathews from the Office of W & W, the license application procedure and the step by step phases of the tender and bidding process are presented in some detail. The authors also describe the qualification procedure and what the reasons are for the existence of the relevant regulations.

The Polish legislation seeks to encourage investors to carry out further drilling, while introducing regulations concerning the distribution of profits from the exploitation of minerals between the Treasury and the upstream sector entities. At the same time, the Czech authorities are inclined towards environmental protection and are taking action on a moratorium prohibiting hydraulic fracturing. The European Union has also implemented guidelines and recommendations concerning the principles for hydrocarbons production and environmental issues.

“The legal framework for the extraction of hydrocarbons in Poland, the Czech Republic and the European Union. Analysis and comparison of selected regulations. “Appeared in the Kosciuszko Institute Report “The development of shale gas in Poland and its prospects in the Czech Republic – analysis and recommendations” (ed. I. Albrycht, no ISBN: 978-83-63712-18-1), which was developed in the framework of the project, “Shale gas in the Czech Republic – a Polish-Czech information campaign on shale gas” co-financed by the Department of Public and Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of the “Polish-Czech Forum: supporting the development of Polish-Czech relations 2014.”
The report can be downloaded in PDF format below or from the Kosciuszko Institute website: http://ik.org.pl/pl/publikacja/nr/9351/rozwoj-sektora-gazu-lupkowego-w-polsce-i-jego-perspektyw/

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAS ENERGY SECTOR IN POLAND AND ENERGY SECURITY

KAMIL IWICKI „Rynek Energii” (Energy Market) 6(115)/2014

The article, co-authored by attorney-at-law Kamila Iwickiego, presents a summary of how…

The article, co-authored by attorney-at-law Kamila Iwickiego, presents a summary of how natural gas is used in the electricity generation sector in Poland. The authors of the publication take, as a starting point for their deliberations, an analysis of Polish energy security in the wider EU context, with particular emphasis on the structure of natural gas supplies to Polish in recent years. A comparison is made of the structure of natural gas consumption in Poland with the trends for gas use in other EU countries According to the authors, the investment plans of energy companies show an interest in the development of gas energy, with the main barrier to development being the high gas prices. The article attempts to assess how the development of the use of natural gas in the national electricity generation sector will impact on Polish energy security.

“The Development of the gas energy sector in Poland and energy security” was published in the latest issue of the bimonthly publication ” Rynek Energii ” No. 6 (115) – 2014, (pp. 33-38).

The entire article is available in PDF format below.

The development of the fuel gas storage sector, legal environment changes, and the importance of operating principles for the market sector

Tomasz Brzeziński, Adam Wawrzynowicz co-authors “Rynek gazu 2014” (ISBN 978-83-937928-3-2) edited by prof. Henryka Kapron (Warszaw University of Technology) / 15.07.2014

This article by Adam Wawrzynowicz and Tomasz Brzeziński, partners in W&W law firm, on the development of the gas fuel storage sector, appeared in “Rynek gazu 2014” (ISBN 978-83-937928-3-2) edited by Prof. Henryk Kapron (Warsaw University of Technology).

The gas fuel storage segment has in recent years undergone a profound transformation in the process of building a competitive gas market and becoming an important instrument of Polish energy policy serving the enhancement of energy security. The processes of separating the storage system operator (OSM) in organizational, functional and legal terms and the introduction of the principle of non-discriminatory third party access to storage facilities (TPA) is accompanied by the construction of new investments and the expansion of existing underground gas storage (UGS) and the procedures available on the market for new storage capacity. The growth of the availability of storage services as so far been gradual, and alongside the dominant function of holding gas reserves, the potential for using UGS for maintaining trade stock is gaining in importance; thus allowing retailers a quick response to peak demand for gas customers in the winter and, potentially, to respond to increases and decreases in gas prices. In addition, the gas fuel storage segment is now preparing, like other segments of the gas market, the introduction of billing in units of energy from August 2014. This will significantly affect the conditions for storage service. (abstract)

The full version of the article can be viewed by clicking on PDF icon below.

“Could you pass the exam for the preparation of the regulatory environment for the development of the shale gas sector in Poland?”

Adam Wawrzynowicz, Izabela Albrycht “Brief Programowy” Kościuszki Institute - July 2014 / 01.07.2014

Adam Wawrzynowicz – co-authored the article, “Could you pass the exam for the preparation of the regulatory environment for the development of the shale gas sector in Poland?” as part of the Kościuszki Institutes ongoing project “What are the opportunities for unconventional gas for Poland and Europe?”

In connection with the adoption by the Polish parliament of amendments to the Geological and Mining Law and ongoing work on the Law on the Special Hydrocarbon Tax, as well as certain other acts, the Kosciuszko Institute has made another analytical attempt to verify whether these new laws meet the expectations of the hydrocarbons production sector, including the expectations of foreign investors and the extent to which they have failed to address priority issues that should be met by the introduction of new regulations, including safeguarding the interests of the Treasury.

The pdf version of the publication can be downloaded below (PDF icon)