Polish gas firm PGNiG not interested in renewing Gazprom gas deal

Poland's gas monopolist PGNiG has notified the Russian gas giant Gazprom that it will not renew the Yamal Contract after December 31, 2022, according to a PGNiG statement issued on Friday.

The Polish government sees the Yamal Contract, signed in 1996, as unfavourable due to high gas prices that Gazprom dictates, as well as provisions that oblige Poland to pay a specified sum of money irrespective of how much gas it actually uses.

Under the contract, the parties are obliged to make a declaration on further cooperation after 2022, three years before December 31, 2022.

PGNiG has been making efforts to become less dependent on Russian gas. It has signed contracts for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) through Poland's LNG terminal in Swinoujscie and acquired gas deposits in the North Sea. It has also been expanding its gas transit system.

"Poland is on the right road to energy independence, particularly in the area of gas," Finance Minister Jerzy Kwiecinski told reporters on Friday as he commented on PGNiG's move.

The minister said Poland was not going to "completely resign from Russian gas," but noted that Poland cannot afford to pay "one of the highest gas prices in the world."

Kwiecinski said Warsaw wanted to be "a serious partner, treated on equal terms." Poland has an infrastructure that allows it to import gas from other directions and it also tries to extract more and more gas, both domestically and abroad, he added. "This shows that we can be independent from foreign suppliers, especially from the east," Kwiecinski went on to say.