National consumption and gas imports rising - gas monopolist

From the start of January to the end of August 2018, Polish gas monopolist PGNiG imported nearly 64 percent more LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) and about 7 percent more gas from Russia, than during the same period last year, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to PGNiG, imports are rising due to a sharp rise in demand on the Polish market.

The gas firm also announced that in the structure of its imports, in the first eight months of the year, the share of LNG rose by almost 20 percent, and the share of gas from Russia about 74 percent. In August, PGNiG announced that the share of Russian gas in the January - July period stood at 75 percent, 2 percentage points lower than in the same period of 2017. At the same time, the share of LNG in imports over the same period in 2018 grew by 19 percent, or 6 percentage points.

On Wednesday, the company also stated that from 2022, within the framework of prepared multi-annual contracts, it will have at its disposal in its annual portfolio, 4 million tonnes of LNG from the USA, which translates into 5.5 billion cubic metres after regasification.

On Tuesday, Russian gas giant Gazprom stated that over the course of the first three quarters of 2018 (until the end of September), sales of gas to Poland had risen by 11.7 percent year on year, which translates as about 900 million cubic metres.

PGNiG underscored that the fluctuating annual and quarterly amounts of imported gas from Russia are not the result of any changes in the long-term import contract. "These amounts are always higher than the minimum amounts imposed by Gazprom in the 'take or pay' clause but are also always lower than the maximum annual amount established many years ago in the long-term import contract, which expires in 2022," the company explained.

PGNiG also highlighted that gas imports are rising in response to a sharp increase in domestic demand. Consumption of gas in Poland grew from 15 billion cubic metres in 2015 to 17 billion cubic metres in 2017, which - the company pointed out - is the most dynamic growth in the history of the Polish gas market and one of the highest growth rates in Europe.