28 Jan 2010 14:20

Gazprom, PGNIG sign new contract

MOSCOW. Jan 28 (Interfax) - Gazprom Export, Poland's PGNIG and EuRoPol Gaz signed a deal in Moscow Wednesday to increase gas supply and extend their gas supply contract, Polish newspaper Puls Biznesu said

Gazprom will increase gas supply to 10.2 billion cubic meters and the contract is extended from 2020 to 2037.

The parties also extended their contract to transit gas using the Yamal-Europe pipeline until 2045.

The agreement also settles a dispute concerning Gazprom's debt for gas transit through Poland. PGNIG will receive gas at a discount, Polish Finance Ministry official Maciej Wewior said. He did not elaborate.

It was reported earlier that according to the original treaty signed in 1995, deliveries of Russian gas to Poland were to reach 14 billion cubic meters in 2010. However, Poland sought to reduce that amount: it was agreed in 2003 that annual deliveries to Poland would total 8 bcm until 2014 and 9 bcm in 2015-2022.

After reducing the amount of gas it purchases from Gazprom, Poland began buying gas from Ukrainian suppliers Eural Trans Gas and Naftogaz Ukrainy. That contract was later ceded to RosUkrEnergo. Since early 2009 Ukraine has not allowed gas to be withdrawn from underground storage so that RosUkrEnergo can meet its export commitments, and PGNIG has begun talks with Gazprom on making up the shortfall.

The two sides also planned to change the terms of operations for the EuRoPol Gaz joint venture, which owns the Polish segment of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline. Gazprom and PGNIG have agreed to increase their stakes to 50% from 48%. The joint venture's tariff policy will also be altered to ensure that venture has adequate financial reserves and a small guaranteed profit.

Poland consumes about 13.7 bcm of gas a year. Domestic production accounts for about 30% of the total.