Poland’s state-owned oil and gas company, PGNiG, has agreed to a five-year deal to purchase U.S. liquefied natural gas as Poland looks to reduce its dependence on Russian energy, according to a Nov. 27 editorial in the Wall Street Journal. On Tuesday (Nov. 28), the U.S. Department of Energy sent an excerpt of the editorial via email with the subject line, “In Case You Missed It: America’s New Energy Diplomacy.” Last week, PGNiG agreed to the five-year deal with British utility Centrica.
The Kremlin-owned, Gazprom, provides more than two-thirds of Poland’s gas, and also supplies energy to other European countries. President Vladimir Putin has threatened to cut off supplies to countries and sometimes follows through on the threat, using the countries’ energy reliance on Russia as “a diplomatic cudgel,” the article shows. In February 2016, the first major shipments of U.S. liquefied natural gas were being shipped abroad. Two months later, Poland’s PGNiG said it would not renew its agreement with Gazprom, which is set to expire in 2022.
In July, President Donald Trump said the United States would help Poland and other countries expand their energy sources. Under the five-year deal with Centrica, PGNiG will receive as many as nine cargos of liquefied natural gas, or about 30 billion cubic feet, for use in Poland. Centrica purchases its liquefied natural gas from Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass terminal in Louisiana, according to the editorial. The terminal liquefies natural gas from more than 12 states and Canada.
The delivery is expected to be the first of multiple shipments to reduce Poland’s dependence on Russian energy.