Polish energy company PGNiG has signed the first contract to import American natural gas to Poland, a development Poland’s Prime Minister Beata Szydlo says will help the country wean its dependence on Russia.
Cheniere Energy will deliver the natural gas in June of this year. The natural gas will be loaded onto a ship at the only operational natural gas export terminal in the United States, at Sabine Pass, Louisiana.
Paczkow, Poland. Photo courtesy of Pixabay.
“This is a historic moment for PGNiG. North America is becoming the next region for acquiring this strategic commodity after Middle East and Norway. We consistently fulfill our strategy of diversifying gas deliveries to Poland,” said Piotr Woźniak, President of PGNiG Management Board.
“Delivering this cargo from Cheniere to Poland demonstrates the continued demand for U.S. LNG and for Cheniere’s full-service model that includes the delivery of LNG [liquefied natural gas] directly to customers,” said Jack Fusco, President and CEO of Cheniere.
Poland and other European nations have had to walk a fine line in their relations with Russia. While many European nations have expressed concern about Russian foreign policy aggression, their words and actions have been muted because Russia is the dominant natural gas supplier in Europe. Russia slowing or cutting off the flow of natural gas to Europe would create economic chaos.
The United States produces and sells natural gas at half the price of Russian natural gas, making it a preferable natural gas trading partner for Europe politically and economically. Government impediments to the construction of natural gas terminals, however, have left America with only a single operational natural gas export facility. There is tremendous global demand for American natural gas but only so much that can be shipped from a single export terminal.
The Trump administration appears to support more natural gas exports, which would help reduce our national trade deficit, create energy sector jobs, and bring more foreign wealth into the country. Cheniere is planning on opening a second export terminal in Corpus Christi, Texas.