Press articles and reports

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)

The impact of the liberalization of the natural gas market on polish energy security

Kamil Iwicki, Piotr Janusz, Adam Szurlej “Rynek Energii” no. 3, June 2014 / 30.06.2014

The article authors, Kamil Iwicki (W&W), Adam Szurlej (AGH) and Piotr Janusz (OGP Gaz-System) provide an analysis of the regulations for energy security and the issue of their compatibility with the aims of establishing a liberal and competitive natural gas market.

The main aim of this article is to discuss the changes that have taken place in the domestic natural gas market, with particular attention to changes in market liberalization and its impact on Polish energy security. The analysis begins with the approaches relevant to the development of a competitive gas market regulation at the EU and national level, including the “Energy Tri-pack”, the amendment to the Energy Law, the dispositions on SOS, and the law on reserves and its amendment, as the basic regulations in terms of energy security in the area of natural gas. The article presents the main determinants on the natural gas market in Poland and highlights the strong growth in the recent 2010 – 2013 period. Despite some progress, the domestic natural gas market is in the early stages of creating a competitive market. The analysis concludes that in the legislation there emerges the lack of a consistent approach to the liberalization of the natural gas market and the energy security of the country in the field of natural gas. It is worth noting that some of the national legislation is not consistent with EU rules. (abstract)

“The impact of the liberalization of the natural gas market on Polish energy security” appeared in the latest issue of the bimonthly ” Rynek Energii ” No. 3, June 2014. (P. 3-13)
The full version of the article can be viewed by clicking on PDF icon below.

What next for the production of hydrocarbons

Adam Wawrzynowicz, Tomasz Brzeziński Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa (4/2014) / 25.06.2014

The article from Adam Wawrzynowicz and Tomasz Brzeziński of W&W law firm, is dedicated to the most important provisions of the amendments to the Geological and Mining Law and appears in the bi-monthly publication “Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa”.

The authors try to answer the question “What next for the extraction of hydrocarbons?” with regard to the endless legislative work on new regulations, as long awaited by the industry. This article explains what the new system will consist of in terms of licensing and tendering and cooperation agreements which up to now do not exist in Polish law. The new regulations will be concerned with the concept of qualification – only entities with a positive evaluation will be able to proceed to tender. The authors also examine the advantages and other concessions over the whole business sector for the facilitation of the prospecting, exploration and production of hydrocarbons.

Is the package of shale gas laws a response to the expectations of the polish shale gas sector?

Izabela Albrycht, Adam Wawrzynowicz “brief programowy” Kościuszki Institute - May 2014 / 28.05.2014

Adam Wawrzynowicz – co-authored of the paper “Is the package of shale gas laws a response to the expectations of the Polish shale gas sector ?” as part of the Kościuszki Institute’s ongoing project “What are the opportunities for unconventional gas for Poland and Europe?”

In May 2014, the Kosciuszko Institute released a “brief programowy” publication about the so-called “Package of shale gas laws” and their impact on the process of exploration and production of shale gas in Poland. The authors of the paper are Adam Wawrzynowicz (managing partner, W&W law firm) and Izabela Albrycht (a political scientist and President of the Kosciuszko Institute, and editor-in-chief of the International Shale Gas & Oil Journal).
“Is the package of Shale Gas laws a response to the expectations of the Polish shale gas sector?” covers the ongoing legislative process since 2012. This includes the draft amendment of the Geological and Mining Law, the creation of a new law on the Special Hydrocarbons Tax, the amendments of the Law on Mineral Extraction Tax and certain other laws (“the shale gas package”). The authors present the most important legislative solutions and summarize the results of the public consultation and the opinions of representatives from the hydrocarbons prospecting, exploration and production sectors within registered lobbying reports. In a brief summary of the current state of play, an analysis is made of how their adoption in their present shape will affect the economy and if the proposed solutions will be an incentive for investors.
Published as part of the Kościuszki Institutes ongoing project “What are the opportunities for unconventional gas for Poland and Europe?”
“Is the package of shale gas laws a response to the expectations of the Polish shale gas sector ?” is available on our internet site in a ,pdf version. You are encouraged to read it!

Regulations for the location of the proposed network utilities – the main obstacle to the rate of investment in energy

Adam Wawrzynowicz, Tomasz Brzeziński “Nowa energia” no. 1(37)/2014 / 22.05.2014

The authors point out the ineffectiveness of the amendment to the Surveying and Cartographic Act of 2005, the aim of which was, among others, the liquidation of the Surveying and Cartography Registry offices (ZUD) and the paper is critical of the proposed process for the coordination of the location of the proposed network utilities with ZUD.

The authors argue that, to this day, implementing regulations to the amended Act have not been issued, which, in the opinion of the administrative organ, justifies the continuing maintenance of the present procedural arrangements with ZUD, based on existing regulations and the transitional provisions of the above amendment.
The article assesses the validity of the above position.
“Regulations for the location of the proposed network utilities – the main obstacle to the rate of investment in energy” appears in “Nowa energia” (1(37)/2014).
The full version of the article can be viewed using PDF icon below.
More information on the availability of documents can be found at

Wojciech bigaj of w&w law firm is the author of “will exchange obligations change the face of the polish gas market?

Wojciech Bigaj Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa (3/2014) / 13.05.2014

Please read the newest edition of the bi-monthly publication “Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa”. In the section devoted to the gas market you will find the article, “Will exchange obligations change the face of the Polish Gas market?”, by Wojciech Bigaj, partner at W&W.

The author focuses, in particular, on one of the instruments for gas market liberalization – the exchange obligations. The primary responsibility related to the implementation of the obligations in the gas market is based on Article. 49b paragraph 1. According to this provision, an energy company engaged in the trade of gaseous fuels is required to sell no less than 55% of high-methane gas introduced in a given year to the transmission network.
The article offers an opinion in the discussion on the appropriateness and necessity of introducing exchange obligation, which raises significant concerns, owing to the fact that the implementation of the obligations will in practice be very difficult to carry out.

The article appears in the bi-monthly publication “Energetyka cieplna i zawodowa” (3/2014). You can read it here:

“Changes to distribution services in light of the new Transmission Network Code (TNC)”

Adam Wawrzynowicz, Kamil Iwicki Przegląd Gazowniczy nr 1 (41) 2014 / 28.04.2014

The article, “Changes to distribution services in light of the new TNC” by Kamil Iwicki and by Adam Wawrzynowicz from the Wawrzynowicz & Partners Law Firm appeared in the journal “Review of the Natural Gas Industry”. No. 1 (41)

User traffic and the operation of the distribution network play a particularly important role in the Polish gas market. The article discusses the changes that were introduced in the new TNC, the most important of which are: to establish a distribution area, the implementation of new rules for balancing customer distribution services, introducing the possibility of distribution services on the basis of continuous feedback, standardization of services for distribution security policies for all customers through the introduction of the institutional Gas Security Code, as well as the introduction of the provisions for the preparation and implementation of the new unification of all company operations, and the establishment of the standard contract for the provision of distribution services.

The details on the changes are presented in the article.

Will the EU obstruct the shale gas revolution?

Tomasz Brzeziński portal / 16.04.2014

The diversification of the sources and direction of gas supply is essential for Polish energy security. There are high hopes associated with the development activities of prospecting, exploration and extraction of gas from shale formations. What is necessary in this regard is the creation of an appropriate regulatory framework and, therefore, the government has adopted a draft amendment to the Geological and Mining Law. However, a significant barrier may be the environmental issues, currently raised at the level of the European Union, which are associated with the hydraulic fracturing technology.

On January 22, 2014, the European Commission published the following documents in order to ensure the proper protection of the environment and climate from intensive hydraulic fracturing:

COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL AND THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT on the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high volume hydraulic fracturing in the EU ( COM (2014) 23 final)
Commission Recommendation of 22 January 2014 on minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing
(2014/70 / EU)

In the body of the Communication, the Commission notes the high potential for shale gas production in the European Union. Although gas from shale formations, according to the Commission, is unable to provide the Union self-sufficiency in the supply of gas, it certainly can, at least partially, reduce the dependence of the EU on its imports. Potentially, shale gas may also lead to a moderate decrease or at least avoid an increase in gas prices, as well as strengthen the negotiating position over non-EU gas suppliers. The Communication also looks at the economic benefits for local communities and even the environmental benefits related to a lower emissivity of energy produced from gas in proportion to the energy produced compared to carbon intensive fossil fuels (subject to appropriate emission controls).

Above all, however, the Commission in its Communication focuses on the issues of environmental risks associated with the identification and extraction of gas from shale formations, in particular related to the contamination of groundwater and surface water from chemical substances contained in the fracturing fluid or leaking from the ground in the process of fracturing. In this context, the Commission emphasizes the need to communicate and address the risks and social concerns relating to the safety of shale gas extraction, and adopted a Recommendation laying down principles of operation to enable the extraction of gas from shale formations while protecting the climate and the environment.

The Recommendation invites Member States, when applying or adapting their legislation applicable to hydrocarbons involving high volume hydraulic fracturing, to ensure that:
– a strategic environmental assessment is carried out prior to granting licenses for hydrocarbon exploration and/or production;
– a site specific risk characterisation and assessment is carried out, related to both the underground and the surface, to determine whether an area is suitable for safe and secure exploration or production of hydrocarbons involving high volume hydraulic fracturing;
– baseline reporting (e.g. of water, air, seismicity) takes place, in order to provide a reference for subsequent monitoring or in case of an incident;
– the public is informed of the composition of the fluid used for hydraulic fracturing on a well by well basis as well as on waste water composition, baseline data and monitoring results. This is needed to ensure that the authorities and the general public have factual information on potential risks and their sources;
– the well is properly insulated from the surrounding geological formations, in particular to avoid contamination of groundwater;
– the application of best available techniques (BAT) for exploration and production, in order to prevent the occurrence of any threats.

According to paragraph 16.1 of the Recommendation, Member States having chosen to explore or exploit hydrocarbons using high-volume hydraulic fracturing are invited to give effect to the minimum principles set out in the Recommendation and to annually inform the Commission about the measures they put in place in response to the Recommendation.

The Commission will monitor the implementation of the Recommendation in order to improve transparency and as a comparison of the implementation of the recommendations in the Member States and will review the effectiveness of the Recommendation 18 months after its publication. The Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council, and will decide whether it will be necessary to submit proposals. In this context, the Communication and Recommendation are potentially a prelude to future legislative initiatives undertaken at the level of the European Union, which may complicate the establishment of a sector involved in the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons from shale formations and thus slow down the pace of the “Polish shale revolution”.


Tomasz Brzeziński Energetyka Cieplna i Zawodowa / 13.03.2014

The comprehensive regulation of the energy and fuel sectors still has some way to go. EU standards have forced our country to undertake specific actions, which have so far resulted in some significant amendments to the energy law. The new rules adopted under the so-called. “Tri-pack” have strengthened the process of unbundling, which has meant greater independence from the system operators involved in the production and marketing sectors. The amendments concern the strengthening of the position of consumers by detailing the elements of the contract of sale and the comprehensive agreement. However, all this is still not enough to meet the full objectives set for the gas sector.

The provisions of the energy “Tri-pack” have also resulted in further strengthening the independence and unbundling of the gas system operators into: transmission – TSO, distribution – OSD and storage – OSM, as well as other activities, in particular, involving transmission activities.