Gas sales to Poland revised

December 2, 2003, 09:00 CET

Statoil and the state-owned Polish Oil and Gas Company (POGC) have found that no basis now exists for an earlier agreement covering substantial gas deliveries to Poland by the group.

The original deal to sell gas to the Poles was signed on 3 September 2001, and involved the provision of five billion cubic metres per annum at plateau level.

This was the last contract concluded by Norway’s former Gas Negotiating Committee (GFU).

After the Norwegian authorities decreed a switch to company-based sales of gas from Norway’s continental shelf in 2001, the POGC deal was split up in line with other contracts.

This made Statoil, Norsk Hydro, Shell and Total separately responsible as sellers, explains marketing manager Ole Gabriel Birkeland in the Natural Gas business area.

The first opportunity to express reservations in Statoil’s bilateral agreement with the POGC came on 1 December.

“Neither we nor the Poles have found any basis for maintaining a gas sales agreement when the fundamental assumptions are no longer present,” says Mr Birkeland.

Statoil is currently in a dialogue with the POGC over reduced gas deliveries to Poland, which would have to be sent in transit through new or existing infrastructure.

According to Mr Birkeland, a memorandum of understanding is being drawn up by the POGC and Statoil to cover future collaboration between the two sides.