November 14, 2019 / 12:52 PM / 24 days ago

UPDATE 1-Poland's PGNiG warns of crisis on Europe's gas market

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WARSAW, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Poland’s dominant gas firm, state-run PGNiG, warned on Thursday of a possible supply crisis on Europe’s gas market due to uncertainty over future flows from Russian Gazprom’s via Ukraine.

The current gas transit agreement between Moscow and Kiev expires at the end of the year, and the European Union has urged Russia and Ukraine to reach a new deal before then.

A number of obstacles remain however, including a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine, and litigation between Gazprom and Ukrainian energy firm Naftogaz.

“Europe is getting ready for a crisis. We do not know what will happen on Jan. 1, but we will be prepared,” PGNiG Deputy Head Maciej Wozniak told a press conference.

PGNiG sees its gas reserves at 2.72 billion cubic metres (bcm) as of Jan. 1, 0.56 bcm more than a year ago. It also plans to source a total of around 1 bcm in liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply from outside Russia in the first quarter.

“This will be the most intense quarter when it comes to LNG supplies to Poland,” Wozniak added.

PGNiG representatives said that gas storage facilities in Europe are full, with 20.4 billion cubic metres stockpiled in Germany.

“Everyone has full storage,” PGNiG Chief Executive Piotr Wozniak said, presenting a map with gas storage in Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary and Ukraine.

“We call it a map of fear, as we have not seen such storage levels for years,” he said. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Writing by Alan Charlish; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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