Oil Security Toolkit
Profiling IEA oil security legislation of IEA member countries
Part of Oil Security Policy
IEA (2022), Poland Oil Security Policy, IEA, Paris https://www.iea.org/articles/poland-oil-security-policy, License: CC BY 4.0
Oil demand is heaviest in the transport sector, followed by industry, buildings, and electricity and heat generation (less than 1%). Poland has a well-developed oil infrastructure including a maritime oil terminal in Gdańsk, two large refineries and notable oil storage capacity and extensive pipeline infrastructure.
Poland has a comprehensive and tested legislative and regulatory framework in place to respond to an oil emergency. The Act on Stocks sets a 90-day stockholding obligation which is realised in Poland through a mixed system. ‘Intervention stocks’ in the country are held in the form of obligated industry stocks, created and maintained by producers and traders to the tune of 53 days; and public stocks maintained by the Strategic Reserve Agency (RARS) of 37 days, which bring the country’s total emergency stocks to 90 days. In addition, due to the significant role of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in domestic consumption, LPG producers and traders are required to maintain stocks equivalent to 30 days of production or imports of LPG, which they usually do through purchasing tickets on the domestic market. Poland has been consistently compliant with the IEA 90-day stockholding obligation and does not hold stocks overseas.
Poland’s oil infrastructure includes one major oil port, two large refineries, two main crude oil pipelines, four main oil products pipelines and notable storage capacity for crude oil and oil products.
Poland has two major pipelines for importing and transporting crude oil. The Druzhba pipeline supplied oil from the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan to Poland and several other EU countries. Within Poland, the Druzhba pipeline consists of an east section (1000 kb/d of capacity) running from the Belarussian border to the Płock refinery and a west section (540 kb/d of capacity) running from the Płock refinery to the Schwedt refinery in Germany. The Druzhba pipeline also transports crude oil from Poland’s onshore oil fields and is connected to several of the largest crude oil storage facilities.
Poland’s other major crude oil pipeline is the Pomeranian pipeline (550 kb/d of capacity), which transports crude oil arriving at the Naftoport oil terminal to the refinery in Płock. The Pomeranian pipeline is also used to deliver crude oil supplied via the Druzhba pipeline to the refinery in Gdańsk. The connection between the two pipelines is located close to the refinery in Płock. A project adding a second line to the Pomeranian pipeline is under consideration, with a final investment decision expected in 2022. If completed, it would expand the total capacity to 1 100 kb/d and allow crude oil to transit in two directions simultaneously.
Poland’s oil products pipeline network consists of four main lines connecting the Płock refinery to regional storage depots. Three of these lines (owned by PERN) run to Nowa Wieś Wielka (46 kb/d), to the Warsaw area (21 kb/d) and to Koluszki (80 kb/d) with an extension to Boronów (24 kb/d). The fourth pipeline (75 kb/d) (owned by PKN Orlen) runs to depots in south-west Poland. PERN is working to increase the capacity of the pipeline running to Boronów and to build a new pipeline from Boronów to Trzebinia (30 kb/d). The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.
Poland has two major refineries with a total capacity of 556 kb/d of crude oil in 2020. The largest refinery (343 kb/d) is located at Płock in central Poland and owned by PKN Orlen. The other refinery (213 kb/d) is located in Gdańsk near the Baltic Sea and owned by LOTOS. In 2019, a finalised EFRA (Effective Refining) project (investment of EUR 600 million) increased the production capacity of the Gdańsk refinery by around 20 kb/d, mainly for diesel and jet fuel. PKN Orlen in 2021 started a EUR 2 billion project to expand the Olefins Complex in Płock as a key project under the strategic Petrochemical Development Programme and the largest petrochemical investment in Europe over the last 20 years. Production is expected to start in early 2025. In recent years, both the Płock and Gdańsk refineries have been operating at close to full capacity. There are also four small refineries in southern Poland used mainly as storage depots and to produce asphalt.
In 2020, Poland had around 55 mb of crude oil storage capacity and around 33 mb of oil products storage capacity. There are two crude oil tank farms located along the Druzhba pipeline, one near the eastern border of Poland in Adamowo (5 mb) and one near Płock (9.2 mb). Two crude oil tank farms with a combined capacity of 15 mb are located near the Naftoport and refinery in Gdańsk. Crude oil is also stored in seven underground salt caverns (26.4 mb) that are connected to the west section of the Druzhba pipeline at a site owned by IKS Solino, a subsidiary of PKN Orlen. This site also has 11.3 mb of oil products storage capacity in three salt caverns connected by pipeline to the Płock refinery. Additional oil products storage capacity (13.5 mb) is spread across Poland at 19 storage depots owned by PERN. The five largest of these depots are connected by pipeline to the Płock refinery. PERN has plans to add 1.2 mb of oil products storage capacity at existing depots.
Poland’s National Emergency Strategy Organisation (NESO) is implemented by the Minister of Climate and Environment, based on powers specified in the Act on Stocks. The NESO is headed by the Minister of Climate and Environment, and engages directly with all relevant public bodies and market participants. The Ministry’s Department of Oil and Transportation Fuels serves as the Secretariat of NESO. The Minister of Climate and Environment is ultimately responsible for managing oil crises and deciding on stock releases.
The coherence of the national crisis management system is ensured by:
Stock drawdowns are the key component of Poland’s oil emergency response, usually carried out by lowering the industry's stock obligations.
The Act on Stocks differentiates between domestic and international supply disruptions. In the event of a domestic disruption, provinces (voivodes), producers or traders of fuels, or other eligible entities, can ask for a stock release. Each request is evaluated by the ministry, which proposes appropriate response measures to the minister. During a global supply disruption, the Minister of Climate and Environment has the power to decide on participation in an IEA collective action and on emergency response measures, based on advice from ministry staff and consultations within the Intergovernmental Group for Ensuring Security of Supply of Natural Gas, Crude Oil and Liquid Fuels.
Emergency oil stocks
The RARS took over the duties of the Material Reserve Agency (ARM) in 2021. Its main task is to establish, maintain and manage agency stocks of crude oil and products under the terms of Act on Stocks. In addition, the RARS President is responsible for inspecting market entities obligated to maintain oil stocks. The general rules and principles for the stockholding regime are laid out in the Act on Stocks.
Poland’s oil stocks have consistently been above the 90-day IEA requirement. Public stocks are entirely held in Poland at facilities belonging to storage companies, as the RARS does not have its own storage capacities. Poland has no bilateral stockholding agreements with other countries, even though the Act allows for up to 5% of oil stocks to be stored abroad.
Demand restraint measures
Demand restraint measures, due to their restrictive nature, are considered as a last resort, although the government has full authority to impose them. The following options can be used to reduce demand for oil in the country:
Each of these restrictions may be introduced by the Council of Ministers at the request of the Minister responsible for energy. Radio and television broadcasters and province governors are obligated to disseminate the content of such regulations. The observance of these restrictions is controlled by provincial authorities, trade inspectors, police or city guards.
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