Energy 16 February, 2018 10:00 am   

PGNiG in Lebanon? Primo – Norway, secundo – Israel

Theoretically, PGNiG could look for gas in Lebanon. For now, however, European giants with Russian Novatek do so. The deposit of Israel are an interesting perspective. Despite temporary disputes, Warsaw and Tel-Aviv could find a way to cooperate here. For the “gas plant”, Norway remains a priority – says Wojciech Jakóbik, editor-in-chief of

Enigmatic statement

During the visit in Lebanon, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki talking to Saad Hariri, Prime Minister of Lebanon about economic cooperation. As reported by the Polish Press Agency, Morawiecki stated that for Poland the developed diversification of sources of this raw material is important. In the future, it could also be used for gas from the eastern part of the Mediterranean. He reminded, however, that extraction from Lebanese deposits will only start in three years, in 2022. He stressed that Poland has a choice. – We do not have a gun attached to our heads – he said. Thanks to the LNG terminal, the Polish side will be able to bring gas from around the world, so from Lebanon too. This prime note suggests a non-binding nature of the diversion on the import of the Lebanese LNG.

Prime Minister Morawiecki also met with the President of Lebanon, General Michael Aoun, who welcomed the opportunity for Polish companies to participate in development and construction projects in Lebanon, including oil and gas exploration. In the context of this meeting, the Chancellery of the Prime Minister informs only about visits to the Polish Center for International Aid, where assistance is provided to Syrian refugees, which also testifies to the priorities of the Poles.

Only the Russian agency PRIME quoted the words of Morawiecki, who in an interview for TVP was to say that “in the future we will be (Poland – ed.) partners in the development of extraction from deposits to supply gas to Poland, which was one from the topics of talks with the Lebanese Prime Minister – the Polish politician was to say. Dziennik Rzeczpospolita has publicized this statement in Poland. stated that PRIME included a statement by a TVP journalist who, while commenting on the words of the chairman of the Council of Ministers, suggested the possibility of cooperation in gas exploration and production in Lebanon in the quote from Morawiecki. Therefore, there was no statement by Mateusz Morawiecki on this issue.

The Russian media reminded in this context that the contract for the delivery of Russian gas to Poland expires in 2022, and the Polish side often emphasizes that it intends to abandon Russian gas after this time. Meanwhile, Poles declare their readiness to abandon the contract with Gazprom, which they consider unfavorable, but they take the possibility of signing a new one, on more attractive terms into account.

The Russians are already there

Meanwhile, in October 2017, the consortium of Novatek, Total and Eni submitted an offer in a tender for these blocks. In December last year Lebanon granted licenses and agreed to sign a contract for exploration and production. On February 9, four days before Morawiecki’s visit, Novatek announced the signing of the contract by a consortium dedicated to Lebanese exploration.

Primo – Norway

Perhaps Polish companies, like PGNiG, could take part in the next concession round, but sources of argue that this will probably be a less priority direction towards Norwegian licenses, where the Polish gas giant expects to increase the resource base for the Baltic Pipe project, though as our portal reported, conversations are not easy.

Secundo – Israel

Possible participation of Poland in gas exploration and supplies remains to be decided. The Mediterranean deposits are prospective from the point of view of the European Commission, which in official documents assesses this direction as an attractive source of diversification of supplies to Europe. informed in 2014 about the EastMed project, which assumes the construction of a gas pipeline or the launch of a condensing terminal for the needs of supplies to Europe from the Lewiatan and Tamar fields owned by Israel. Work on local fields could be safer for Polish workers than in unstable Lebanon. However, despite the long-term convergence of strategic interests of this country with the Polish, recently relations with him have deteriorated through the dispute over history.

It should be noted that the potential of our mining companies is smaller than the largest players who have faced the fight for Israeli deposits. It was also mentioned by Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski on the occasion of talks on works in Iran. Poles mainly count on service contracts. It will be more difficult for them to compete, for example, about operating the given deposit, which would have a greater impact on the supply policy from it.