Orlen lowered fuel prices? The prosecutor’s office in Płock initiated an investigation

Luc Williams

Iwona Śmigielska-Kowalska, spokeswoman for the Płock District Prosecutor’s Office, told PAP on Wednesday that an investigation into suspected lowering of fuel prices by Orlen was initiated there on January 17 this year. “It covers the period from August 1 to October 31, 2023.“- she emphasized.

As prosecutor Śmigielska-Kowalska explained, the proceedings concern “causing a direct threat of large-scale property damage to the Orlen company in an amount yet to be determined.”

According to the spokeswoman of the Płock District Prosecutor’s Office, the investigation is to determine whether “due to abuse of powers or failure to fulfill obligations by persons managing the Orlen company” there could have been an “undue lowering of liquid fuel prices compared to market prices” in the mentioned period.

Two people submitted notifications

“Two people reported suspected crimes in this case,” noted prosecutor Śmigielska-Kowalska. She added that before initiating the investigation, the Płock District Prosecutor’s Office carried out verification activities focusing on the circumstances provided by the notifiers.

In November 2023, Andrzej Domański from KO, currently the Minister of Finance, told PAP that Orlen should be depoliticized. “It is very clear and clear that Orlen has entered into politics. What we saw before the elections, i.e. artificially lowering fuel prices, was clearly for electoral purposes. PLN 5.99 was a price that did not correspond to market prices at all. We know that the company suffered losses as a result, we know that there was a shortage of this fuel at many stations,” Domański emphasized then.

Obajtek: Thanks to the mergers completed in recent years, we have greater negotiating opportunities

At the beginning of October 2023, Orlen’s president, Daniel Obajtek, assured that the company sees its pricing policy in the long term. “Price stabilization is profitable for Orlen, as it ensures stable sales, but also has a positive impact on the economy and the situation of customers. Taking into account the current market situation, I would like to inform you that we do not anticipate any increase in prices at gas stations in the coming weeks,” Obajtek said then.

He pointed out: “We have diversified oil supplies, signed long-term contracts, and built strong commercial competences. Thanks to the mergers completed in recent years, we have greater negotiating opportunities and are now much more resistant to market turmoil than in the past. Looking short and medium term, we see no reason to increase prices.”

The Orlen Group is a multi-energy concern that owns, among others: refineries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. He also manages the petrochemical segment and the hydrocarbon mining segment. At the same time, it is developing the segment of renewable energy sources and plans to develop safe nuclear energy – by 2030 it intends to launch at least one small SMR nuclear reactor.

Recently, Orlen reported that it has a total of 3,439 fuel stations, including 1,931 in Poland and 1,508 on foreign markets, including Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Lithuania and Austria. (PAP)

Author: Michał Budkiewicz


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