Poland's PGNiG In Talks to Book More Gas Through Baltic Pipe

(Reuters) — Polish gas company PGNiG said on Thursday it has contracted 800 million cubic meters (MMcm) of gas for the new Baltic Pipe linking Poland and Norway for the fourth quarter.

Long wary of Russian intentions in central Europe, Poland started diversifying away from Russian gas years before Moscow's February invasion of Ukraine triggered a global energy crisis.

Poland was cut off from Russian gas supplies in April for refusing to pay in rubles.

The Baltic Pipe is scheduled to open in October.

"For the fourth quarter of this year approximately 30-38% of the capacities of the Baltic Pipe will be available, which is approximately at 800 million cubic meters," a company representative said during an earnings call.

Net profit for the first half of 2022 was 4.84 billion zlotys ($1.05 billion), up 99% year on year.

"The key growth engine is our upstream business, led by record prices of commodities and a significant rise in gas production on the Norwegian Continental Shelf," CEO Iwona Waksmundzka-Olejniczak said in a statement.

The company said that it had seen a "radical shift" in its foreign gas supply sources.

"The share of gas imports from across Poland's eastern border shrank to 37%, from 58% a year earlier, while the share of LNG imports rose to 34%, compared with 25% in the same period of 2021," it said in a statement.

"The share of gas sourced from the western and southern directions rose to 29%, relative to 17% the year before."

The company said gas sales rose 2% in the first half thanks to a one-off sale to the Government Agency for Strategic Reserves in March.

However, excluding that transaction, sales fell 3%. Domestic sales fell 7%, as higher prices stifled demand.

($1 = 4.6206 zlotys)

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