Poland to buy more Norwegian gas despite pipeline cancellation

Apr 20, 2005 02:00 AM

Poland is eager to increase its natural gas imports from Norway in a bid to break free of its dependence on Russian deliveries, Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka said after a meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Kjell Magne Bondevik. Norway and Poland recently cancelled plans to build a gas pipeline linking the two countries, however.
"Poland is a purchaser of Norwegian gas in limited quantities," Belka said. "We are interested in increasing the volumes" imported, he added, stressing that "diversifying the natural gas providers is of strategic interest to Poland".

Bondevik echoed Belka's concerns, saying: "To be dependent on one supplier, Russia, is not good."
Polish gas supplier PGNiG and Statoil are presently negotiating a new gas delivery contract for Poland, according to Polish officials. The current contract, which expires in September, concerns 0.5 bn cmpy of gas.

Concerning the pipeline cancellation, Bondevik said: "We signed a memorandum of understanding but there were some complications later on."
Bondevik added: "We must find other ways of supplying Poland with gas."
Belka said Poland is now hoping to import LNG transported by tankers, "a solution which is more flexible because it enables us to be supplied by several countries."

He said the pipeline solution with Norway was "costly" and created a dependence on one country.
Belka said Warsaw was planning to build a Baltic Sea port to accommodate gas deliveries.

Source: AFX News
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