A group of MPs from the ruling party has recently submitted to Parliament a draft amendment to the Energy Law and other acts including the Act on Mandatory Stocks. The draft provides for major changes to the system of mandatory stocks of natural gas.
In general, the draft aims to widen the scope of entities obliged to maintain obligatory reserves of natural gas. Mandatory stocks will have to be maintained by business entities that conduct cross-border trading in natural gas as well as any other entities that deliver natural gas to Poland, irrespective of whether they deliver the gas for trading or for their own consumption.
According to the draft, there will be no exemption from this obligation. Currently, gas traders delivering natural gas to Poland in order to resell it to customers may be exempted by the Minister of Energy from the obligation to maintain reserves if their aggregate annual import of natural gas to Poland does not exceed 100 million cubic metres and the number of their customers does not exceed 100,000. The draft also provides that exemption decisions that have already been issued will expire on 30 September 2017.
The draft amendment also introduces a new way of fulfilling the obligation to maintain obligatory reserves of natural gas. Holding mandatory stocks may be entrusted to another entity on the basis of a so-called stock ticket contract. The draft of such a contract will be subject to the approval of the President of the Energy Regulatory Authority. Thus, gas trading companies will no longer be obliged to own the stored gas.