Polish government green lights Russian 2022 gas deal

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The Polish government on Tuesday approved an agreement on deliveries of Russian natural gas to Poland until 2022 signed in Moscow last week, a government statement said.

The accord had earlier received the green light from Polish regulators.

Under the agreement, Russia will deliver gas to Poland until 2022, while the transit of Russian natural gas through Polish territory further west via the Yamal-Europe pipeline is contracted until 2019, according to the Russian gas Goliath Gazprom.

The first version of the agreement, struck in January between Gazprom and Poland's PGNiG national gas company, had been contested by the EU, which wanted a guarantee that other gas operators would have access to the Polish section of the pipeline, in line with European competition regulations.

Gazprom says that Poland's Gaz-System is the technical operator of the pipeline on the Polish section, adding that other operators will also have external access.

Transit tariffs for the pipeline are set by EuRoPol Gaz, a company owned in equal part by Gazprom, 48 percent, and PGNiG, 48 percent, which currently manages the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline.

Russia will gradually increase its gas deliveries to Poland from 9.7 billion cubic metres in 2010 to 11 billion cubic meters in 2012, a volume that should remain stable in subsequent years.

Poland covers 30 percent of its gas needs from domestic sources, while over 40 percent are imported from Russia and the remainder from other countries.

© 2010 AFP

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