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Orlen takes control of Yamal pipeline, ousts Gazprom


In a significant strategic move, Poland’s state energy company Orlen has acquired Gazprom (MCX:GAZP)’s stake in the Yamal pipeline, spanning 684 km across Poland. The acquisition, valued at 787 million zloty ($184 million), was approved by the Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) on Thursday. This development is part of Poland’s larger strategy to end all Russian energy imports by 2022, marking its independence from Russian gas since that year.

The Yamal pipeline was previously owned by EuRoPol Gaz, a joint venture between PGNiG and Gazprom. However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland temporarily seized Gazprom’s assets, including its stake in the pipeline. Despite Gazprom cutting off oil imports in February 2023, Orlen’s CEO Daniel Obajtek underscored this acquisition as a vital step towards public interest, security, and an end to Russian gas flows in the Polish transit system.

In response to Russia’s invasion into Ukraine, Poland strategically ousted Gazprom from the Yamal Pipeline to reduce dependency on Russian gas supplies. Orlen assumed full control by taking over Gazprom’s 48% stake in Europol Gaz. As a result of imposed sanctions since May 2022, the pumping of Russian gas came to a halt.

Poland then altered its strategy by operating the pipeline in reverse mode. This allowed for importing gas from Germany for domestic use and exporting excess supplies back to Germany. This shift has been crucial for Poland’s public interest and security.

Due to a sanctions law from April 2022, the transaction funds will be frozen in a special bank account and will not be directed towards Gazprom.


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