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Agreement with Poland signed

September 3, 2001, 16:00 CEST

The agreement between the Norwegian Gas Negotiating Committee (GFU) and the Polish state oil and gas company POGC was signed today, 3 September, in Oslo.

Chief executive Olav Fjell signed the agreement on behalf of Statoil. The agreement was negotiated by Statoil, Norsk Hydro, Shell, Exxon Mobil and TotalFinaElf. Discussions with Polandfirst began 10 years ago.

The agreement means that as of 2008, Poland will receive 74 billion cubic metres of natural gas over a period of 16 years.

“Today’s agreement is a cornerstone in the future work of getting gas to eastern Norway, Sweden and Denmark, since the volume isn’t large enough to lay a separate pipeline from the Norwegian continental shelf to Poland,” reports Statoil marketing manager Ole Gabriel Birkeland, who has led the negotiations on behalf of the oil companies.

The gas will be brought ashore at Niechorze on the Baltic coast. One possibility is to transport it by pipeline from the Norwegian continental shelf. Mr Birkeland says that efforts to find the best possible transport solution will be intensified.

Poland has an annual consumption of around 11 billion cubic metres of natural gas. About seven billion cubic metres of this volume are currently imported from Russia. The remainder is met by its own gas.

Prime ministers Jens Stoltenberg and Jerzy Buzek witnessed the signing in Oslo, where they also signed a political statement regarding cooperation between Norway and Poland.