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Poland, Russia ink gas supply deal to 2022

WARSAW, Oct 29 – Poland and Russia on Friday inked a deal on deliveries of Russian natural gas until 2022, finalising an agreement struck earlier this month in Moscow, a senior Polish minister said.

"I\’m pleased that negotiations on additional deliveries of gas to Poland have ended in success. This agreement will also lead to cooperation in new areas," Polish Deputy Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak told reporters in Warsaw after signing the deal with his Russian counterpart Igor Sechin.

The deal stipulates deliveries of 9.03 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Russia this year, rising to 9.77 billion cubic meters in 2011 and 10.24 billion cubic meters from 2012 to 2022, according to a statement by Poland\’s PGNiG state-owned natural gas firm.

"Taking into account the current prices of petroleum products, the average annual value of the contract for Russian gas supplies is estimated at approximately 8.5 billion Polish zloty (2.14 billion euros, 2.97 billion dollars," the PGNiG statement said.

The transit of Russian natural gas through Polish territory further west via the Yamal-Europe pipeline is also contracted until 2019, according to Russian gas giant Gazprom.

Poland\’s Pawlak raised the possibility of extending the transit agreement from 2019 to 2045.

The agreements on supplies and transit "create a basis for long-term cooperation" and "bring new stability to gas transit," Sechin said.

The first version of the agreement, struck in January between Gazprom and PGNiG, was contested by the EU, which wanted a guarantee that other gas operators would have access to the Polish section of the pipeline, in line with European competition regulations.

Gazprom says that Poland\’s Gaz-System is the technical operator of the pipeline on the Polish section, adding that other operators will also have access.

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Poland covers 30 percent of its gas needs from domestic sources but more than 40 percent is imported from Russia and the remainder from other countries.

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