Poland signs deal for longterm de­liv­er­ies of US gas

Imperial Valley Press - - SCOREBOARD - BY MONIKA SCISLOWSKA

WAR­SAW, Poland — Poland’s main gas com­pany signed a long-term con­tract Thurs­day to re­ceive de­liv­er­ies of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas from the United States as part of a larger ef­fort to re­duce its en­ergy de­pen­dence on Rus­sia.

The state com­pany PGNiG signed the 24-year deal with Amer­i­can sup­plier Che­niere dur­ing a cer­e­mony in War­saw at­tended by U.S. En­ergy Sec­re­tary Rick Perry and Pol­ish Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda.

“This is a sign across Europe that this is how your en­ergy se­cu­rity will be de­vel­oped, your en­ergy sources diver­si­fied,” Perry said be­fore the deal was signed.

He and Pol­ish En­ergy Min­is­ter Krzysztof Tchorzewski also signed an agree­ment to con­firm long-term co­op­er­a­tion on en­ergy se­cu­rity, which Perry said in­di­cated Amer­ica’s “pro-Poland and pro-Europe” ap­proach to de­vel­op­ing di­verse sources of en­ergy.

“We are pre­pared to be a com­pet­i­tive, re­li­able and trans­par­ent” part­ner, he said.

Perry is vis­it­ing sev­eral coun­tries in cen­tral and eastern Europe to ex­pand en­ergy part­ner­ships in the re­gion, the U.S. Depart­ment of En­ergy said.

The value of the deal with the Pol­ish com­pany was not dis­closed, in line with tra­di­tional se­crecy for such en­ergy deals.

How­ever, Piotr Woz­niak, the pres­i­dent of PGNiG’s man­age­ment board, said the price is 20-30 per­cent lower than what Poland pays its cur­rent sup­plier in Rus­sia.

Un­der the deal, Poland will re­ceive some 700 mil­lion cu­bic me­ters of gas from 2019 through 2022, and 39 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters from 2023 through 2042. Poland’s an­nual con­sump­tion of gas is al­most 16 bil­lion cu­bic me­ters, 25 per­cent of which is cov­ered from Poland’s own de­posits.

Woz­niak said the deal would also pro­vide a safety net to pro­tect neigh­bor­ing Ukraine, a tran­sit route for Rus­sian gas, from un­ex­pected breaks in Rus­sian gas de­liv­er­ies. PGNiG is plan­ning two more deals for U.S. gas de­liv­er­ies, he said.

Poland and Ukraine feel es­pe­cially con­cerned about their level of de­pen­dence on Rus­sia en­ergy sup­plies, which Moscow has used as po­lit­i­cal lever­age in the past.

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