The Polish cabinet has endorsed measures to relax gas trade restrictions, prolong tariff protection for customers, and prepare grid operators for a quick response if the energy situation worsens.

“An exceptional situation on global energy markets caused by Russia’s aggression on Ukraine and surging gas prices… create a necessity for special legal measures that allow for a real-time reaction if the situation deteriorates further,” the administration stated on Tuesday.

Proposed measures include suspending the rules requiring gas companies to trade fuel on the Warsaw exchange in the event of a gas crisis, extending tariff protection to 7.1 million small consumers, including households, until 2027, and preparing for a gas crisis for gas storage and transmission operators.

“The measures will allow us to use gas storage more effectively and increase storage capacity,” government spokesperson Piotr Muller said at a press conference.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, European nations that rely on Russian gas have been working to reduce their reliance on the fuel, stockpile stocks, and create winter contingency plans.

The Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which delivers gas from Russia to Germany, underwent a scheduled maintenance shutdown on Monday, raising fears about gas supplies to Europe if the interruption continues. 

Poland, which has been cut off from Russian supplies since April, currently has a pretty favorable gas balance owing to a fully operational LNG plant and low summer demand.

Cross-border supplies throughout the continent will be stretched if Russian supply to Europe cease.

Existing rules already enable the government to reduce consumer deliveries if supply security is jeopardized. 

Separately, Poland intends to increase gas storage capacity by 25% to 4 billion cubic meters. 

Source: Reuters

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