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Poland has natural gas exports understanding with U.S.

Staff Writer |
Poland's desire to cut natural gas imports from Russia has led to an understanding with the United States to work toward a deal to export liquefied natural gas to its new Baltic Sea terminal, the country's deputy prime minister said.

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Mateusz Morawiecki, who is also the minister of economic development and finance, said in an interview that discussions with new U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry brought "a very positive response."

"The word agreement is probably premature. Understanding? Absolutely," Morawiecki said as he wrapped up a three-day U.S. visit with stops in Washington, Boston and New York.

Poland's liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the Baltic Sea was completed in 2015 and opened last year. It has an annual capacity of 5 billion cubic meters, which the government wants to double in the next few years, Morawiecki said.

Internal sources supply 30 percent of Poland's gas consumption, with the rest predominantly from Russia, which Warsaw eyes with suspicion.

Once procedural issues are settled and viable export capacity is found, "the last element which is to be negotiated is the price," he said, noting that gas from Russia, Algeria and Qatar is competitive.

"The average price is lower than what we can obtain from Texas, from the United States. A little way to go, but I hope we will find a common denominator," he said.

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