Polish state-controlled oil and gas company PGNiG, is “interested” in gas from Israel, says Chief Executive Piotr Wozniak, according to the Reuters news agency.
The Polish company is looking to end its reliance on Russia for gas, said the CEO, as cited by the news agency.
More than half of the gas sold by state-run PGNiG comes from Russia’s Gazprom based on a long-term deal which expires in 2022, Reuters reports. PGNiG reportedly has taken steps to reduce that reliance as it does not plan to extend the agreement.
“We want to be the company at the crossroads of North-South and East-West… we need something to the south. Something reliable. So we are looking at all those places to the south of Poland very carefully… So yes, we are interested in Israel,” Wozniak told Reuters.
PGNiG reportedly has secured purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies via a Baltic Sea terminal, mostly from Qatar, the United States, and Norway, and is said to be planning to import gas from Norway, including its own deposits in Norway via a planned Baltic Pipe pipeline.
A number of large gas discoveries offshore Israel and in nearby eastern Mediterranean waters in the last decade have made Israel a potentially lucrative prospect for big energy firms. The region is emerging as a new hot spot for gas exploration and production, says Reuters.
Following two years of negotiations, Israel signed an agreement with Italy, Greece, and Cyprus in late 2018 to lay the longest gas pipeline in history.