Norway and Poland sign historic natural gas deal

Sep 03, 2001 02:00 AM

Norway agreed to supply natural gas to Poland in a deal that the leader of the former East Bloc nation described as much a matter of security as energy. Poland, like many of the former Soviet satellites, had been dependent on supplies of gas from Russia until they began securing supplies from the West.
"For our part of Europe, it is something like part of our security," Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek said after signing the agreement at Norway's national airport, Gardermoen, north of the capital, Oslo. He said countries like Lithuania, Slovakia and even Croatia also were interested in Norwegian gas supplies.

The deal is for 74 bn cm (2.6 tcf) of natural gas from Norway's offshore fields over 16 years, beginning in 2008. At current natural gas prices, the contract is worth about 100 bn kroner ($ 11 bn). Norway is the world's second largest oil exporter, after Saudi Arabia, and supplies vast quantities of natural gas to the European continent from fields off the Scandinavian nation's west coast. "It is historic that we are now selling large volumes to the former central and eastern Europe. It ties Norway and Poland closer together," Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said.
The agreement means that a new 1,100 km (683-mile) natural gas pipeline will have to be built from the Norwegian oil fields to the Polish city of Niechorze, on the Baltic Sea.

Source: AP Worldstream
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