Poland aims for Norway gas link by 2022

Piotr Naimski, the government’s representative for energy infrastructure, has expressed optimism about a project to link Norwegian gas deposits with Poland, the third time this project has been attempted.

The “Baltic Pipe” is a proposed underwater gas pipeline linking Denmark and Poland. As part of the proposals a gas link between Denmark and Norway is also envisaged, thus allowing Norwegian gas to be transported directly to Poland.

Naimski told a conference, “The plans to link deposits in Norway with the Polish gas transmission system will definitely succeed this time. There is a favourable political and economic situation.”

Two previous attempts at the link have failed. In 2001 the first proposal was shelved due to worries about the cost of Norwegian gas, while a second attempt in 2007 did not materialise.

Naimski suggested that this time the project would be successful, as the parties involved now have “an understanding at the highest levels between Poland, Denmark and Norway… there is a green light for the pipeline”.

The Polish PGNiG oil and natural gas company is expected to have a role. The company currently extracts around 0.5 billion cubic metres a year in Norway, and plans to raise this to 2-2.5 billion cubic metres by 2022.

Naimski explained that the gas link is hoped to be operational by 2022, the year in which Poland’s deal with Russia’s Gazprom is set to expire. If the link to Norway is active it will allow Poland to reduce its dependence on Gazprom.

The proposed gas link is part of wider attempts to diversify Poland’s energy supplies. An LNG terminal was also opened earlier this year, allowing Poland to import gas from Qatar.

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