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Poland, Russia to seal new gas deal in weeks

The Polish and Russian governments will approve the new gas deal reached between the monopoly PGNiG PGNI.WA and Gazprom in a matter of weeks, Economy Minister Waldemar Pawlak said on Wednesday.

Under the new deal, agreed between the companies last week, Poland will import 10.3 billion cubic meters of gas annually directly from Gazprom until 2037, up from about 7 billion - 8 billion cubic meters earlier, PGNiG said on Wednesday.

“We will sign the deal in a matter of weeks,” Pawlak told reporters in parliament. “The Polish government will look into it on its next sitting.”

Sources had told Reuters PGNiG will import 11 billion cubic meters of gas under the new deal.

PGNiG added the remaining conditions of the gas supply deal, including price, were unchanged from the previous deal that ran out in 2022.

Warsaw had originally wanted to strike a deal by the end of July and to officially sign it during Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to Poland on September 1, but the sides could not agree on all the issues.

A major sticking point had been disagreement over the functioning of Europolgaz, a joint venture between PGNiG and Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom, which manages the Yamal pipeline in Poland.

Last week PGNiG said it reached an agreement with Gazprom over transit tariffs and the way Europolgaz was managed, but declined to give any details.

Poland, which imports about two-thirds of the gas it uses from Russia, faced an annual shortfall of 2.5 billion cubic meters from 2010 and the new deal will plug that gap. Russia is the only supplier able to do so.

Poland uses around 14 billion cubic meters of gas annually, with one third coming from domestic sources, while the remainder has been imported directly from Gazprom - about 7.5 billion cubic meters - and from the now defunct intermediary RosUkrEnergo. (Reuters)