* PGNiG to take part in Nabucco open season
* Eyes net profit in the second quarter
WARSAW, July 16 Poland's gas monopoly PGNiG
PGNI.WA will apply for 1 billion cubic metres of gas from the
planned Nabucco project to reduce its dependence on Russia, its
chief executive said.
PGNiG imports about two-thirds of gas it sells from Russia
but would like to cut that share to about 40 percent, in part
from the Nabucco pipeline aimed at supplying Europe with gas
from the Middle East and the Caspian region.
"We want to receive the gas from Baumgarten through the
Czech Republic and through an interconnector that will be built
by Gaz System," Szubski told reporters.
Gaz System is a state-owned gas pipelines operator
responsible for building a liquefied natural gas terminal in
Swinoujscie and a number of connectors that would link Poland's
gas pipeline system with its neighbours.
The Nabucco project, EU's attempt to diversify its gas
supplies away from Russia, has gained momentum after a January
row between Ukraine and Russia over gas prices left some
countries without any supplies and others with reduced
The link between the Polish and Czech gas systems has to be
extended in order to allow for the gas from Nabucco to flow into
Szubski added PGNiG would remain in the red in the first
half of the year -- despite turning a net profit in the second
PGNiG has suffered two consecutive quarters of net losses
because it has had to buy Russian gas at prices significantly
higher than state regulated tariffs for its customers. But
import prices have fallen more recently.
"The second quarter alone will end with a profit, but we are
still not making up for the losses sufficiently to end the first
half with a net profit," Szubski told reporters, blaming the
PGNiG paid 2.8 billion zlotys for imported gas in the first
quarter, up 86 percent from a year ago, pushing it to a net loss
of 399 million zlotys.
PGNiG shares fell 1.5 percent on Thursday. The stock has
risen 12 percent this year versus a 7 percent gain of Warsaw's
main index WIG20 .WIG20.
(Reporting by Pawel Bernat, writing by Patryk Wasilewski,
Editing by Michael Kahn)