Poland receiving 24 percent less gas from Russia
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Russian natural gas deliveries to Poland have dropped by some 24 percent this week, Poland's gas monopoly said Wednesday, though the reason remained unclear.
Spokesman Rafal Pazura told The Associated Press that the company, PGNiG, is asking Russian supplier Gazprom whether the drop is due to "technical or trade" issues. Gazprom told the AP that it was working on a statement.
The fall of deliveries arriving through Ukraine and Belarus comes at a time of conflict in Eastern Ukraine between Ukraine's army and Moscow-backed rebels. Poland supports the Ukraine authorities.
Other countries that receive Russian gas through Ukraine, including Slovakia and Romania, did not immediately report similar drops in supplies.
PGNiG said in a statement that on Monday supplies were 20 percent below the contracted amounts. On Tuesday they were 24 percent too low. It is making up for the shortfall with gas from other sources.
Polish pipeline operator Gaz-System S.A. said the flow was kept balanced with supplies from Germany and the Czech Republic. The clients' needs were met, it said in a statement.
However, Ukraine's gas transit company said it was not receiving reverse gas supplies from Poland. Poland and other European countries are sending some of the Russian gas they receive back to Ukraine to help the country cover its energy needs. Russia has cut off supplies to Ukraine, citing unpaid bills.
The International Energy Agency said it was checking for any other reports of gas delivery reductions and the possible cause.
Last year, Poland bought some 8.9 billion cubic meters of Russian gas, covering about 60 percent of its needs. Poland covers another 30 percent of its needs with gas it produces itself, with the remainder coming from other European countries. Poland also has some 2.6 billion cubic meters of natural gas stored in gas tanks.
Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow, Lori Hinnant in Paris and Karel Janicek in Prague contributed to this report.