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Poland's Natural Gas Monopoly Purges and Merges

Poland's natural gas monopoly, PGNiG, on Thursday announced plans to streamline its management and merge its subsidiaries after suffering major second-quarter losses.

The natural gas monopoly reported a net loss of 310 million zlotys ($95 million), which it blamed on the country’s energy regulator, URE, saying it failed to fully offset the higher cost of imported Russian gas with regulated gas price increases largely because it was unable to predict the weakening of the local currency, the zloty, according to Fox Business.

The PGNiG shakeup, according to new CEO Grazyna Piotrowska-Oliwa, is meant to render the company more consumer-friendly and the failure to do would risk the company’s market share amid intensifying competition.

“We can’t have fighting between fiefs right now,” Ms. Piotrowska-Oliwa told reporters.
PGNiG has multiple subsidiaries that operate in identical businesses, like drilling services, but have separate management boards and tend to be territorial instead of working together.

In September, the government will begin a partial liberalization process of its heavily-regulated natural gas market in an effort to boost competition. The liberalization will only be partial, meaning that the government will continue to set prices.

The European Commission has warned that Poland may be fined for continuing to regulate the market by setting prices. 

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com


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