Energy policy must be governed only by hard facts and very careful calculations. However, in Poland the national spirit of romance and fanfaronade makes itself felt also in this area – on our own detriment. As Winston Churchill said – sometimes people stumble on the truth, but straighten up and go on as if nothing had happened. – Andrzej Malinowski, President of Employers of Poland, writes in "Rzeczpospolita".
A few years ago our country – and our political scene – experienced a wave of shale gas enthusiasm. The Republic of Poland was to become a gas superpower. Today nothing is left of the shale gas mirage. There is gas is, yes – that has been known for half a century. The snag is in capabilities and operating costs.
Today Gazprom, the company which over the years has been the iron glove of the Kremlin, is experiencing serious problems. From these facts, we can draw different conclusions. But surely there is no reason to herald success and announce that now we, Poles, will show the Russians. Gazprom is weakened? Media have reported that, in principle, it has already become bankrupt. Now we will dictate conditions, with the blessing of Brussels! Well, we will give them a hard time for all the years of harsh treatment ...
Fortunately, such irrational thinking is limited for now to the comments of some columnists. Polish business is aware of the fact that the game does not become easier, and is not counting on a miracle, only acts offensively. A few days ago, PGNiG took over the company GazTrading – one of the three shareholders in EuRoPolGaz – owner of the Yamal pipeline. This does not translate directly into Polish control over the venture, but significantly reduces the possibility of surprises from the Russian partner. It certainly also strengthens our position in gas negotiations.
For Poland there is no alternative to crude oil deliveries from Russia yet. Maybe in a few dozen years it will be different. To recap the facts, negotiations between PGNiG and Gazprom on gas price cuts ended up with filing a lawsuit to arbitration – which, however, did not block further talks. We need a good strategy and strong arguments, rather than faith in the fact that Gazprom is more dead than alive.