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Gas supplies from Russia to be reduced by 35%

Poland has reached an initial agreement with Russia on reducing gas supplies to Poland by 35%, Deputy Prime Minister Marek Pol said on Thursday, according to local media reports. According to Pol the Yamal contract had been prolonged by two years until 2022. Poland will import 161 billion cubic metres of gas, 6.6 billion cubic metres annually to the year 2010 and around 9 billion annually after that.

According to a 1996 protocol, signed by Gazprom and the Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo, or PGNiG, Poland was to import 218.8 billion cubic metres of gas between 2003-2020. Later on it became clear that forecast of domestic gas demand has been overestimated at the time of the signing of the document and Poland started negotiations to lower Russian supplies. The two sides also agreed that the construction of the first thread of the Yamal gas pipeline is to be completed by 2006.

Funds for the project are to be secured not by the state budget but by EuroPolGaz, a joint venture between PGNiG, and Gazprom. The agreement is subject to approval by the two governments and if all goes well it will be signed during a Polish visit by Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov scheduled for February.

(NewsBase 24.i.03)

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