The national oil and gas companies of Denmark and Poland are considering building a new pipeline at a potential cost of 350 million euros to transport natural gas from the Baltic Sea to mid-European markets.
That project would fill the "missing link" in the gas infrastructure of the Baltic Sea region and enhance both diversification and security of supplies by opening gas trade opportunities between Poland and Scandinavia, said officials of Dansk Olie og Naturgas AS (DONG) and Polskie Gomictwo Naf- towe I Gazownictow SA (POGC) (OGJ, Aug. 4, 1997, p. 29). It also would connect with the German gas system, they said.
Development of an integrated gas market in the Baltic Sea region has been given high priority by national authorities, the European Commission, and Baltic Gas, the association of regional gas companies.
Poland is anxious to diversify its gas supply sources outside the North Sea, which is the main supplier for most of Western Europe.
DONG and POGC have already made technical and economic assessments of the proposed BalticPipe system. Company officials are preparing detailed studies to determine the final route for the pipeline.
The pipeline's cost will depend on its capacity and would include landfall facilities, compressor stations, and receiving terminal. Added infrastructure investments would be necessary in Poland as well as in Denmark, officials said.
The two companies had previously discussed building a pipeline from Denmark to Poland to transport gas from Norway or Great Britain. But the latest evaluation of gas reserves in the Danish sector of the North Sea indicates a likely considerable increase in Danish production to supply domestic markets as well as exports to Sweden, Germany, and Poland, officials said.
Other projects announced in recent years could compete with or complement the BalticPipe system. One such proposal, led by Finland's Fortum Oil & Gas, calls for a Nordic gas grid that would tie gas markets in Scandinavia and possibly the Baltic republics of the former Soviet Union with Russian and Norwegian North Sea gas (OGJ, Dec. 14, 1998, p. 36).
Another trans-Baltic gas pipeline proposal is being studied by Russia's Gazprom and Fortum forerunner Neste Oy; it would link Russia with Sweden and the rest of the European Union (OGJ, Feb. 10, 1997, p. 38).