Echo of Andrzej Duda’s visit to the United States, talks with Donald Trump and another contract for LNG deliveries are also heard in Moscow. This is another opportunity for the Russians to pump a balloon of disinformation on the diversification of sources of gas supplies to Poland – writes Piotr Stępiński, journalist of BiznesAlert.pl.
Last week, PGNiG signed an agreement with Venture Global LNG, thanks to which the Polish company will have 2 billion cubic meters of gas more and will increase the purchase of LNG from the United States. As a result, from 2022, PGNiG will be able to receive approximately 9.4 billion cubic meters of gas from the United States. It is almost as much as Poland imports from Russia under an unfavorable Yamal contract now which is in force until the end of 2022.
This fact has not escaped the notice of the Russian media, which scrupulously recorded it in their publications, again attacking the policy of diversifying sources of gas supplies carried out by Warsaw. RIA Novosti decided to count how much will cost non-Russian fuel to be imported by Poland. It turns out that according to the agency, thanks to the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline and agreements with the Americans, our country is to import at least 14.73 billion cubic metres of raw materials. The result of the Russians’ calculations may be astonishing, because under previously signed agreements with American companies, PGNiG contracted approximately 7.4 billion cubic meters. If we add to this the planned capacity of Baltic Pipe, that is 10 billion cubic metres so we are talking about a volume of 17.4 billion cubic meters, which is more or less about what is currently the consumption of gas in Poland. Although the RIA claims that we consume about 15 billion cubic meters, but this is not the first time that Russian calculators count otherwise than European ones.
If we add a contract with Qatargas and own extraction to the Norwegian gas mix and from the US, it turns out that our country may have 24.1 billion cubic meters of raw materials. The surpluses could be resold and thereby change Poland from the importer to the fuel exporter, which would allow the implementation of the plans for the construction of the gas trade center, commonly known as the hub, over the Vistula River. The Russians also see the growing potential of Warsaw. RIA Novosti argues that Poland’s plans are politically motivated, not economically, because gas is to be part of the implementation of the Trilateral concept. According to the agency, the gas alliance within the framework of the Tri-Sea is unrealizable, and Poland will lose most of the attempts to undertake this task because it will not find a buyer on LNG in Europe, and will also have to sell gas cheaper than the Americans.
Why Poland would not find them? Among other things, due to the devastating (sic!) blow to the initiative driven by Poland and Croatia, which is the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, which is to be more attractive for Bulgaria, Slovakia, Slovenia, but also for Serbia. We can even read that thanks to this project, the anti-Russian gas belt from the Baltic to the Adriatic collapsed, and the second pipeline forced by the Russians to act as an iron curtain for the Croatian terminal on the island of Krk, and therefore the decision to build the gas port was postponed. RIA Novosti has deliberately or unknowingly forgotten that Russia itself subordinated gas transmission by the second pipe of Turkish Stream from the “iron guarantees” of the European Union for the purchase of raw material. EU did not provide such guarantees. In addition, Gazprom has repeatedly declared that the main element of gas transmission through Greece and Italy was to be the Posejdon gas pipeline, which is part of the ITGI (Turkey-Greece-Italy) interconnector, but for now the project is in its infancy.
Not seeing the beam in its eye, the Russian agency is trying to find a mote in Europe’s. It argues that no investments are being made that would allow fuel to be discharged eg. from Świnoujście, because the Americans did not give money for infrastructure, and Europeans do not want to pay for its construction and modernization. What, then, are the projects implemented by Gaz-System, such as the Poland-Lithuania gas pipeline, which, like one of many, has received co-financing from EU funds? What are the announcements of the region’s states about the desire to purchase gas from the Polish terminal? The silence of this issue in the Russians publication should not come as a surprise.
Just like convincing that gas from Gazprom is more competitively priced than the one offered by the Americans. Many representatives of PGNiG and the Ministry of Energy have repeatedly slandered these claims. Anyway, it is difficult to expect that the company would act to its detriment and would contain unfavorable contracts. Estimates of BiznesAlert.pl indicate that the offer of Americans may be potentially more attractive than Russian.
This is not the first time that RIA Novosti tries to suggest Europe’s love for gas from Russia and strengthen Gazprom’s message about the need to build new export gas pipelines like Nord Stream 2. In January, it even used the statement that “Russian gas enjoys the eyes”. Nevertheless, it is strange that another publication of the RIA that struck at Poland’s efforts to diversify sources of gas supplies had to wait nearly six months. The propaganda machine is pumping a balloon that will break in 2022, when Poland will be able to potentially replace the Russian raw material with its own extraction and imports from more predictable partners.