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PGNiG to buy more LNG from U.S. company

Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) signed an agreement on Wednesday with U.S. company Venture Global LNG to buy 1.5 million metric tons of liquefied natural gas per year, as the country seeks alternative supplies of gas than Russia.

Under the agreement, the volume of the fuel from Venture Global's Plaquemines terminal - which is being built south of New Orleans, Louisiana - to PGNiG will increase from 1 million tons to 2.5 million tons of LNG. Shipments are expected to start in 2023.

The agreement raises PGNiG’s total commitment with Venture Global LNG projects to 3.5 million metric tons per year, with another 1 million metric tons already sourced from Calcasieu Pass, another terminal being developed in Cameron Parish, Louisiana.

Under a policy it calls energy dominance, the administration of President Donald Trump is seeking to slash domestic regulations on energy production to boost oil and gas exports to allies and trade partners.

It is seeking to offer Europe alternative sources of gas to fuel sent via pipeline from Russia, which is generally cheaper than U.S. LNG, but has not always been reliable with Russia at times stopping deliveries to Ukraine and parts of Europe during pricing disputes.

The Trump administration also opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project that would send additional gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea.

Poland gets most of its gas from Russia, but its long-term contract for gas supplies from Russia's state oil company Gazprom ends in 2022.

"Thanks to good relations with our American partners and effective negotiations, we have achieved a highly competitive LNG supply from the Plaquemines terminal," said Piotr Woźniak, President of PGNiG's management board, at a signing of the agreement at the White House.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said at the signing that Poland and the United States share a strategic alliance fortified by an "understanding that true energy security is achieved through energy diversity."

(Reporting by Timothy Gardner Editing by Susan Thomas)

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