№6 June 2009
By Marynia Kruk
Polish natural gas monopoly PGNiG (PGN.WA) has signed a deal with Russia's OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS) to deliver 1 billion cubic meters of gas before Sept. 30, the company said in a statement Tuesday.
This deal, which has been awaiting signatures since mid-May, will allow Poland to fill its underground gas storage facilities ahead of the winter season.
PGNiG's chief financial officer Slawomir Hinc said Tuesday that, according to Monday's information, PGNiG's underground gas storage facilities are half-full, and will be fully stocked by Sept. 30.
The new contract replaces supplies that were provided by RosUkrEnergo until January's Ukrainian-Russian gas row.
The contract is worth about $300 million, but the final price is linked to the price of crude oil, PGNiG, or Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA, said.
"This deal ensures there will be no gas shortfall this year," said Pawel Burzynski, an analyst at Bank Zachodni WBK in Warsaw. "There's still a risk of a shortfall in February-March if the winter is colder than average."
Gas supplies delivered via Poland's eastern border are at 100% of planned amounts as of June 1, the company added.
The new short-term agreement doesn't run to the end of the year, so the two companies will need to reach another agreement for gas delivery from October to December, about 400-500 cubic meters.
PGNiG has said signing an inter-company contract for the additional, October-December supply depends on the governments of Poland and Russia signing an overarching agreement on gas supply.
Tuesday, PGNiG shares closed up 5.4% at PLN4.10, outperforming Warsaw's large-cap WIG20 index, which rose 2.7%.
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