Poland at risk of running short of gas this winter
Rzeczpospolita is reporting that Poland could face natural gas shortage as it heads into this winter.
Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG), Poland's state-controlled gas company, has already used more than 70 percent of the natural gas it contracted from Russian supplier Gazprom for 2010.
Maciej Kaliski, Director of the Oil and Gas department at the Economy Ministry, commented that Poland will have used all the Russian gas due under its existing contract by October 20th. He warns energy crisis could be coming to the country if a new agreement is not finalized.
PGNiG Chief Michael Szubski did not wish to comment on the current situation. He did say that that the company would terminate filling gas storage ahead of the winter season in two or three weeks.
A new arrangement between Poland and Russia was reached six months ago after almost a year of negotiations, but still has to be signed by both governments.
The deal increases the present quantities of Russian gas exports to Poland from 8 Bcm/year to 10.2 Bcm/year. Poland's annual consumption is around 14 Bcm, of which 4 Bcm/year is produced domestically. It also provides for Russian gas transit rights through Poland to Germany until 2045.
The deal has been criticized by Poland's main opposition party, Law and Justice, which argues that the government should not bind the country to a long-term contract with Russia because of Poland's domestic shale gas potential.
President-elect Bronislaw Komorowski of ruling centrist Civic Platform party, had also said in a pre-election debate that Warsaw could not sign the long-awaited gas deal with Moscow if it finds enough shale gas in its territory.
Opponents also suggest that it is unnecessary to increase dependence on Russian imports while Poland is building gas import terminal in Swinoujscie.
It well known that the European Commission has asked the Polish government to clarify certain issues in the proposed deal, specifically the granting of long-term transit rights to Gazprom.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE (in Polish)