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Last Updated: November 2016

Overview


Map of Poland
Map of Poland
  • Poland is the second largest coal producer in Europe, behind Germany. Poland produces small quantities of crude oil and natural gas and it is a net oil and natural gas importer. The country contains shale resources, but companies exploring for economically recoverable volumes have had disappointing results.
  • In 2015, Poland’s total primary energy consumption was 3.8 quadrillion Btu. Coal accounted for 52% of consumption, with the remainder consumed as oil (26%), natural gas (16%), and renewable energy sources (5%), according to the 2016 BP Statistical Review of World Energy.
  • Petroleum and other liquids

  • In 2015, Poland consumed about 540,000 barrels per day (b/d) of liquid fuels.
  • Poland imported more than 95% of the crude oil it processed in 2014. Most of its crude imports come from Russia via the Druzhba pipeline. The country has two large refineries, with a total crude distillation capacity of 493,000 b/d as of January 1, 2016, according to Oil & Gas Journal.
  • Poland is a net exporter of petroleum products. It exports significant volumes of motor gasoline and heavy fuel oil, however it also imports significant volumes of diesel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
  • Almost 80% of Poland’s LPG supply in 2014 was from imports. Most LPG imports come from Russia by rail.
  • Poland is also the transit country for shipments of LPG by rail from Russia to Germany and the Czech Republic.
  • More than 65% of the LPG consumed in Poland in 2014 was used as a fuel for road vehicles. As of 2013, Poland was the 5th largest consumer in the world of LPG as a road fuel, 3rd in the world in terms of the number of LPG-fueled vehicles, and 2nd in terms of LPG fueling stations.
  • Natural gas

  • In 2015, Poland consumed 530 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of natural gas.
  • Poland imports more than 70% of the natural gas it consumes, most of which comes from Russia.
  • In June 2016, the new liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Świnoujście, Poland received its first commercial cargo. The plant has a capacity of nearly 177 Bcf per year. The first cargo came from Qatar with which the Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) has signed a long-term supply contract.
  • According to a 2015 EIA study, Poland contained 146 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of technically recoverable shale gas resources. However, companies exploring for economically recoverable volumes have had disappointing results.
  • Shale gas exploration activity peaked in 2012 with 24 shale gas directed wells drilled and 8 wells hydraulically fractured. In 2015, only 4 shale wells were drilled, and no wells were hydraulically fractured.
  • Over the past several years, ExxonMobil (2012), Marathon (2013), Talisman (2013), Total (2014), Chevron (2015) and ConocoPhillips (2015) have all ceased shale gas exploration in Poland, leaving only two domestic firms, PGNiG and PKN Orlen, still pursuing shale gas exploration in the country as of 2016.
  • Coal

  • Poland produced and consumed about 150 million short tons of coal in 2014, accounting for 22% of total coal production and 16% of total coal consumption in Europe.
  • Lower coal prices and higher production costs in recent years have reduced domestic output and negatively impacted the coal mining industry over the past few years. While Poland promotes the development of other fuels, the government continues to support the country’s coal industry. In 2016, several state-owned energy utility companies invested $624 million to rescue Kompania Węglowa, the European Union’s largest coal mining company, from bankruptcy.
  • Electricity

  • The country’s electricity sector is heavily reliant on coal, as coal generation made up about 80% of the gross electric generation portfolio in 2015. Coal-fired power plants accounted for 75% of installed capacity in 2014.
  • Poland’s government has a goal of sourcing 15% of domestic energy consumption and 19% of the country’s electricity generation from renewable energy sources by 2020. However, the strength of the coal industry, the local abundance of coal, and cost-competitiveness of coal compared to other fuels has contributed to Poland’s opposition to environmental measures proposed by the European Union.