10 Dec 2009 21:23

Russia, Poland agree to new gas supply agreement - ministry

MOSCOW. Dec 10 (Interfax) - Russia and Poland have agreed upon a new inter-governmental document for the supply of Russian gas at the talks in Moscow on Thursday.

The Polish delegation was led by Deputy Economic Minister Joanna Strzelec-Lobodzinska, the Russian delegation was represented, in particular, by Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky and Gazprom Deputy CEO Alexander Medvedev, the Polish Economic Ministry said in a statement.

Now the intergovernmental document needs to be ratified, counter-signed, its text must be approved by both governments in a special governmental document and then signed by the prime ministers, the ministry said.

According to the previous intergovernmental document signed in 1995, Russian gas supplies to Poland were to reach 14 billion cubic meters by 2010. However, the quantity was reduced at Poland's insistence. In 2003 it was decided that Russia will supply 8 billion cubic meters per year until 2014 and 9 billion cubic meters per year from 2015 to 2022.

After gas quantities purchased from Gazprom were reduced, Poland started buying gas in Ukraine, namely from Eural Trans Gas and Naftogaz Ukrainy. Later this contract was ceded to RosUkrEnergo. In early 2009 Ukraine refused to take gas from its underground stores under RosUkrEnergo's export contracts, and PGNiG began talks with Gazprom to compensate for gas shortages.

Now Poland has asked to increase supplies to 10.27 billion cubic meters per year and to change the gas supply contract's year of expiry from 2022 to 2037.

Poland's annual gas consumption is about 13.7 billion cubic meters, of which approximately 30% account for its own production. In 2008 Gazprom Export exported 7.9 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Poland.