Polish gas company PGNiG's plan to build a pipeline between Poland and Norway to reduce its dependence on Russia is expected to introduce a few billion cubic metres (bcm) of annual gas capacity by 2022, it said on Thursday.
The timing of the project would bring the pipeline online in time for the 2022 expiry of state-run PGNiG's current deal to buy gas from Russia's Gazprom.
PGNiG buys up to 10.2 bcm of gas a year from Gazprom, catering for the bulk of Poland's yearly consumption of nearly 16 bcm.
"By 2022 we want to have the technical possibility to transport a few billion cubic metres of gas from the north," PGNiG said in a statement.
PGNIG, which has a 12 percent stake in the BP-operated Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea, and stakes in several other fields on the Norwegian continental shelf, will present details of the Norway pipeline project later this year.
But Gassco, the operator of Norway's offshore pipeline system, which delivers gas to Britain and continental Europe, said it had no immediate plans to build a pipeline to Poland.
"We have dialogue with several parties regarding the Norwegian gas infrastructure, and PGNiG is one of them, but Gassco has no expansion plans to the European continent currently," Lisbet Kallevik, a spokeswoman for the operator, said in an email to Reuters.
The Polish company had been involved in the Skanled pipeline project to bring Norwegian gas to Sweden, Denmark and possibly Poland. The 10 billion crown ($1.16 billion) project was suspended in 2009 due to the global economic crisis.
Gassco said at the time the project could be re-launched if the commercial conditions became more favourable. ($1 = 8.6341 Norwegian crowns)
(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, additional reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis in Oslo)