Poland’s Energy Independence

Photo: Baltic Pipe / www.baltic-pipe.eu

by Robert John Zagar and Agata Karolina Szkotak Zagar

One of the most significant economic and financial events in Poland’s energy independence has quietly been taking place. In October, PGNIG paid $220,000,000 for a stake in the Tommeliten Alpha gas field off Norway’s south coast. In November, Poland’s Gas System and its Danish partner, Energinet signed contracts to proceed with the Baltic pipe project connecting Norwegian gas fields with Poland. In December, Poland’s state owned oil and gas group PGNIG agreed to deliveries of United States liquefied natural gas. In January PGNIG won three new production licenses in Norwegian waters. Polish energy officials are reshaping the European energy market in this geopolitically sensitive area. The Baltic pipe line is the most important in diversifying Polish independence from Russian gas. Eleven billion cubic meters of the 17 billion come from the Russian state owned energy group Gazprom. In 2022 the contract expires and Poland does not intend to renew the contract because of supply disruptions over the past fifteen years. Russia has used its’ natural gas as a geopolitical weapon. PGNIG is also looking at other targets in the North Sea as long term energy investments.

Photo: Baltic Pipe / www.baltic-pipe.eu

Poland is also expanding its’ liquefied natural gas terminal in the Baltic port of Swinoujscie from 5,000,000,000 to 7,500,000,000 cubic meters. This puts Poland at the north-south, and east-west axis of energy supply for all of central Europe allowing access to energy from many sources and independence from Russia. Poland is working out interconnectors with Czech Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Ukraine to create a regional gas hub over a long term basis allowing flexibility and price arbitrage. The central challenge is that at some point under the Baltic the Norwegian-Polish pipeline will have to cross the Kremlin backed Nordstream 2 linking Russia and Germany. The proposed Norwegian-Polish pipeline will have a 10,000,000,000 cubic meter capacity. This will allow Poland not only to become independent of Russian natural gas but also Polish coal which is taking a heavy toll on the environment. So the future looks bright for Poland’s energy independence and continue economic growth unlike any other European Union country.

Robert John Zagar, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an economist, psychologist, professor, researcher, and statistician, whose worked has saved 640 lives and billions in Chicago with the summer jobs program for high risk youth over the past decade (32,223 got jobs during the 2018 summer), the release of 56% of Cook County prisoners (nonviolent) and 6,800 federal nonviolent prisoners (by presidential commutation and pardon), and influenced the U.S. Supreme Court resentencing of 2,500 life sentence without parole juvenile delinquents in Miller v. Florida and Graham v. Alabama. He testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. Presidents Bush, Clinton, Obama and Trump, Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis, Speakers Gingrich, Hastert, and Ryan, Governors Quinn and Rauner, and Mayors Daley and Emanuel, among others know of his research which can be found on wikipedia.com, linkedin.com, researchgate.com and academia.com. His Polish born wife, Agata Karolina Szkotak Zagar M.B.A., is an actress, banker, who worked at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, and a teacher. They formed a nonprofit group, Society of the Friends of Radgoszccz, and are active members of University Club of Chicago and Holy Name Cathedral parish.