Subsequent commentators refer to new LNG supply contracts from USA to Poland, which PGNiG was to sign. Only that there are no contracts yet – writes Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of BiznesAlert.pl.
Contracts that are not there (yet)
In the Houston Chronicle, senator Anna Maria Anders argues that the agreement on the purchase of an American LNG signed by PGNiG last month is more than just a regular business transaction – informs the Polish Press Agency. – Anders, senator and minister at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister indicates that the contract signed last month during the World Gas Conference in Washington by the Polish company PGNiG with two American producers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – Port Arthur LNG and Venture Global LNG – about deliveries, starting in 2022, a total of 4 million tonnes of LNG per year is an important step for the energy security of Poland and Europe and “for the flowering of Poland’s great friendship with the north-east coast of Texas”.
Meanwhile, PGNiG signed a memorandum with those entities on these agreements. This means that it begins the laborious process of negotiating conditions, including the price formula, which may lead to signing of final contracts. The Polish company’s communique on talks with Port Arthur LNG and Venture Global LNG is a clear declaration of the will to use further contracts to develop engagement on a global scale, as I wrote more in the text dedicated to these agreements.
– The signed agreement opens the way for entering a contract that will allow PGNiG to develop its LNG portfolio in the near future – said Piotr Woźniak, head of PGNiG SA, quoted in the communique on contracts with the Americans. Perhaps the message wrongly suggested signing contracts, not memorandums about the agreement. Sharper wording in such a message is worth considering in the future. At the first moment I let myself be fooled that the contracts had already been concluded.
Not everyone reads press releases to the end and probably the unauthorized comments about breakthrough agreements come from here. We’ll wait for that. The Copernican breakthrough has already occurred when PGNiG signed a contract with the British Centrica for the supply of LNG from the USA together with a price formula depending on the European stock exchange. That fact was shared by the minister of energy himself, Krzysztof Tchórzewski, and it means that the price of liquefied gas from Centrica offered by Berlin depends on the value on the TTF, which is competitive price for offers in Europe, for example, by Gazprom.
Competition is watching
This is important because the Russians are constantly convincing the public that American LNG can not pay off, and its import to Europe is a political matter. In the BiznesAlert.pl report on the NATO summit, you can read how this topic is played in accordance with German and Russian diplomacy in order to defend the contested Nord Stream 2 project. If we are too early to open champagne caps on new LNG contracts with the US, we are threatened with compromising and using our unauthorized opinions against us. It is worth to keep our fingers crossed for the negotiators of PGNiG, whose work in the US is not finished yet and wait for a message about breakthrough contracts.
Poles in American LNG terminals?
After all, not only them. I have already mentioned that talks on LNG deliveries from the USA on subsequent projects also cover the issue of shares in export terminals. Government Plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure Piotr Naimski revealed that Poles can talk about shares in LNG terminals in the USA. If you look at the PGNiG competition, for example, which is already on the way to increasing LNG market share, this trend is visible. French Total bought financially involved in the disputed Nord Stream 2 LNG assets worth $ 1,5 billion from ENGIE. Among them were shares in the Cameron LNG terminal. Thanks to them, it will become the second player in the world with a portfolio of around 40 million tons per year by 2020. It is not said that LNG assets in the USA would have to be taken over by PGNiG. The first routes were cleared by the operator of the Polskie LNG terminal, which signed letters of intent with American counterparts.