Poland Seeks U.S. Gas to Offset Russian Cuts: Ambassador

Poland is seeking to import American liquefied natural gas by early next year, Polish Ambassador to Washington Ryszard Schnepf said today.

Schnepf, speaking at a Bloomberg Government lunch today in Washington, said he’s spoken with Texas Governor Rick Perry and Polish representatives have visited some U.S. companies, including San Ramon, California-based Chevron Corp., and Halliburton Co., based in Houston, as well as smaller firms.

He said he’s also met with members of Congress who said they’d support Poland’s bid to import U.S. natural gas.

Schnepf said Polish importers and U.S. energy companies are discussing prices and quantities for prospective deals. The U.S. Energy Department must approve exports to countries that don’t have a free-trade agreements with the U.S., such as the 28-nation European Union, which includes Poland.

“Next spring will be the crucial” period to get this done, he said.

Poland, which along with most member other EU members relies heavily on Russian natural gas, is seeking ways to decrease that dependency amid fears that Russia is using gas as a weapon to restrict European pressure over the Ukraine crisis.

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