Poland signs first deal to buy natural gas from US supplier

Poland has signed its first deal to purchase liquefied natural gas from a U.S. supplier, a step that will help the country's efforts to cut its dependence on deliveries from Russia, officials said Thursday.

The head of Polish gas giant PGNiG, Piotr Wozniak, called it a "historic moment" for the company which is "gaining a new partner in LNG trade" in North America and becoming a "gateway" that opens for U.S. gas in northern Europe.

His deputy in charge of trade, Maciej Wozniak, said the one-time delivery will arrive at the Baltic Sea port of Swinoujscie in early June from the Sabine Pass terminal located on the border between Texas and Louisiana. It will be the first U.S. LNG delivery to northern Europe.

Wozniak would not reveal the size of the delivery or the price of the deal with Houston-based Cheniere Energy, Inc. He only said the price was "good and attractive."

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said the deal helps Poland cut its dependence on deliveries from Russia. The country has been seeking to reduce its reliance on Moscow, which has used fuel as a tool to pressure some countries in the region in the past.

Among the steps was the opening last year of the Swinoujscie LNG port which is to supply Poland and others in the region. Poland also started importing gas from the Middle East, especially Qatar, and from Norway.

The U.S. is rich in shale gas and has been exporting fuel to southern European nations such as Spain and Turkey, but not yet to nations in the continent's north.


This story has been corrected to show the name of the U.S. company is Cherniere, not Chernier.