Polish minister says U.S. LNG imports could undermine Gazprom’s position

WARSAW May 29 (Reuters) – Imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States could significantly undermine the dominant position on the European gas market of Russia’s Gazprom , Poland’s minister responsible for oil and gas infrastructure said on Monday.

Poland imports most of the gas it consumes from Russia’s state-controlled Gazprom, which supplies a third of the European Union’s gas.

As part of its plan to reduce that reliance, Poland has built its first LNG terminal. The country has long-term contracts on LNG supplies with Qatargas and also has started LNG purchases on the spot market.

In June it expects to receive first U.S. LNG spot delivery.

The United States is expected to become the world’s third-largest exporter of LNG next year.

“Due to increased production and export capacities LNG has become a global product. If appropriate decisions are taken, then Gazprom could be excluded or blatantly reduced when it comes to its supplies to Europe,” Piotr Naimski, Poland’s minister in charge of oil and gas grids, told an LNG industry conference.

“The price offered in future contracts by potential U.S. exporters is linked to the Henry Hub in the U.S., and not, for example, to the London market. This is a problem for Europe – it means that to balance the price with the European one, the U.S. exporters would have to cover the transport costs,” he said.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Jason Neely)

source: af.reuters.com

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