Burned by Russia, Poland turns to U.S. for natural gas and energy security

by STANLEY REED

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Poland is determined to end its reliance on Russian energy within the next few years, part of a broader effort in Europe to diversify the region’s energy supply. Relations with Russia have been unsettled, sometimes perilously, over political differences as well as the role of Poland, a former Soviet satellite, in NATO.

The country has found a ready replacement in the United States, which has an abundance of natural gas from the shale boom and a political incentive to ease Russia’s chokehold on Europe. Once it is chilled into a liquid, natural gas can be shipped around the world. American companies now have contracts that span decades and promise to supply Poland with the equivalent of about half of its current gas imports.

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“The strategy of the company is just to forget about Eastern suppliers and especially about Gazprom,” said Piotr Wozniak, president of PGNiG, a listed but state-controlled company that dominates Poland’s gas market.

“For us it is a new world,” Mr. Wozniak added. “If I pay to Americans, I pay to my NATO allies.”

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