Poland's LNG Imports Overtake Russian Gas

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Poland has been preparing for this moment — when its LNG imports would exceed its Russian gas imports — since it opened the 3.7 million ton per year Swinoujscie LNG import terminal in 2016.

Poland, along with Lithuania, has become independent of Russian gas while the rest of Europe struggles to catch up.

Share of LNG

The share of LNG in Poland’s gas imports rose to 43% last year, from 24% in 2021, while the share of Russian pipeline gas dropped to 20% from 61%, PKN Orlen said in a statement on Thursday.

The biggest oil and gas company in Poland, PKN Orlen said LNG imports increased by more than 50% to 6.04 billion cubic meters in 2022.

The US accounted for more than half of PKN Orlen’s total LNG imports last year, or 3.4 Bcm, the Polish importer said.

The strong growth was a response to the supply crisis in Europe caused by Russian gas exporter Gazprom’s actions and Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, PKN Orlen said.

Gazprom restricted its own supply to Europe amid the energy crisis before and after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year. Its daily exports to Europe have dropped by around 80% over the first year of the war.

Poland is one of the fiercest opponents of Russia in the EU and one of the key supporters of Ukraine.


Increased LNG imports were possible thanks to diversification of supply sources and expansion of receiving capacity at the Swinoujscie LNG terminal, PKN Orlen said.

PKN Orlen said it managed to increase LNG imports despite an increased competition from other countries. It also signed gas contracts for the supply of Norwegian gas, started importing gas from Lithuania and received first deliveries from Slovakia, the company said.

Diversification was accelerated by the complete halt in April 2022 of Russian gas supplies under the contract with PGNIG, which was merged into PKN Orlen in November 2022. Gazprom cut off supplies after PGNIG rejected Moscow’s new payment rules for buyers from what Russia deems “unfriendly” countries. Gazprom cut off a total of six European customers on those grounds, while most of its around 50 customers agreed to the new rule, which involved conversion into rubles but allowed them to continue to pay in euros.

This year, PKN Orlen has purchased no Russian gas and expects to replace it with deliveries via the Baltic Pipe from Norway and with LNG cargoes under long-term contracts with US suppliers.

As Poland hasn’t imported any gas from Russia since late April, PKN Orlen’s full-year 2022 imports of Russian pipeline gas dropped 71% to 2.9 Bcm from 9.9 Bcm imported in 2021.

The halted supplies from Russia only accelerated the diversification process, as PKN Orlen would have stopped importing Russian gas anyway with the expiry of PGNIG’s so-called “Yamal” supply contract with Gazprom for 10.2 billion cubic feet per year on Nov. 1, 2022, the Polish company said.

Interconnectivity Memo With Ukraine

Separately, Polish gas transmission system operator (TSO) Gaz-System on Thursday signed a memorandum of cooperation with the Ukrainian TSO, GTSOU, to improve interconnectivity between the Ukrainian and Polish markets.

The memorandum will potentially give Ukraine access to gas from the Baltic Pipe as well as interconnectors with Lithuania and Slovakia that Poland launched last year, Gaz-System President Marcin Chludzinski was quoted as saying. Gaz-System also sees opportunities to support the Ukrainian gas market via the Swinoujscie LNG terminal and a planned floating storage and regasification unit in Gdansk, he said.

For more coverage of the Ukraine crisis, visit Ukraine Crisis: Energy Impact

LNG Supply, Gas Supply
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