Poland signs 20-year deal to buy natural gas from the US

December 19, 2018 - 9:58 am

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland has signed a long-term deal with a U.S. company for supplies of liquefied natural gas as part of an effort to reduce its dependence on Russian energy.

Port Arthur LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, and Poland's state gas company PGNiG jointly announced Wednesday the agreement for the sale of 2.7 billion cubic meters per year of gas to Poland over a 20-year period.

In a statement, they said that is enough to meet about 15 percent of Poland's daily gas needs.

"This agreement marks an important step toward Poland's energy independence and security," the U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said.

Sempra Energy's CEO Jeffrey Martin said the deal helps his company "advance our vision to become North America's premier energy infrastructure company."

No financial details were disclosed, in line with the secretive nature of gas deals, which are sensitive politically given Russia's dominance of Europe's energy market.

In recent weeks Poland also signed long-term deals for gas with American suppliers Cheniere and Venture Global Calcasieu Pass and Venture Global Plaquemines LNG.

These deals have been sealed as both Poland and the United States have been trying to stop Nord Stream 2, a pipeline under construction that, when finished, would transport gas from Russia to energy-hungry Germany.

Poland, along with several other European countries, see Nord Stream 2, which bypasses Ukraine, as a political project meant to weaken that country and gain leverage over Europe by making it more dependent on Russian gas.

Officials for the Nord Stream 2 dispute that view, saying it is merely a commercial project and would not cut off Ukraine.

Also Wednesday, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan met with Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz in Warsaw, the last stop in a visit to several countries in the region.

Ahead of his visit, the State Department said he would meet with Polish leaders to discuss shared concerns over Nord Stream 2, among other issues.

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