The purpose for creating and maintaining mandatory stocks of natural gas is to ensure Poland’s supply of natural gas and to mitigate the consequences of a threat to the state’s fuel security, the occurrence of an emergency situation in the gas network, as well as an unforeseen increase in its consumption.
The detailed rules concerning mandatory stocks of natural gas are set out in the Act of 16 February 2007 on Stocks of Crude Oil, Petroleum Products and Natural Gas and the Procedures in Situations of Threat to the State’s Fuel Security and Disturbances on the Oil Market. According to this Act, mandatory stocks of natural gas are maintained by:
- energy companies carrying out economic activity in the field of natural gas trade with foreign countries,
- entities importing natural gas.
The volume of mandatory stocks of natural gas must correspond to at least the 30-day average daily import of this gas made between 1 April of the previous year and 31 March of the current year.
At the same time, entities obliged to maintain stocks are obliged to annually submit information on the planned volume of mandatory stocks of natural gas to the President of the ERO by May 15. After verification by the regulator, stocks in the approved volume are maintained from 1 October to 30 September of the following year.
Mandatory stocks of natural gas are the property of the enterprises, but they remain at the disposal of the minister responsible for energy, whose approval is required for the release of stocks by the TSO.
In the event that the compulsory stocks of natural gas are used up, their replenishment to the amount specified in the Act must be made within four months, counting from the last day of the month in which the stocks were released.