This is extremely good news. No to the east and no to the west. If the politicians in Vilnius would do something to improve relations with Poland Lithuania could use this source of energy. It is possible that Belarus could also take from this, especially if Lukashenka leaves office. Poland can become the Saudi Arabia of eastern Europe. Ukraine can also join in.


Lithuania, Poland plan gas link by 2018

VILNIUS Feb 10 (Reuters) – Polish and Lithuanian gas companies said on Friday they would seek support from the European Commission to link national gas grids by 2018, a step towards developing a regional gas market.

Poland's state-owned gas transmission system operator Gaz-System and Lithuania's gas utility Lietuvos Dujos , majority owned by Russian Gazprom and Germany's E.ON Ruhrgas, are planning the project.

The planned 562 kilometers gas link is estimated to cost 471 million euro ($626.6 million), and would have an annual capacity of 2.3 billion cubic meters of gas per year, with possibility to increase to 4.5 bcm, the companies said, presenting a study in Vilnius.

The final decision on investment will be taken after conducting feasibility and marketing studies, and after the project has received support from the European Commission, officials said.

"I believe the European Union would back the joined Polish-Lithuanian project," Slawomir Sliwinski, a member of Gaz-System's board, said.

"For the Baltic states the gas link could become a strategic element of gas infrastructure to provide access to the global gas market, including via an LNG terminal in Swinoujscie," he added.

Lithuania has no gas links to European Union member states outside the Baltic region and is 100 percent dependent on gas imports from Russia.

The Baltic state's government has been in favor of constructing a gas link to Poland to tap potential shale gas reserves, but also plans to build an LNG terminal to access gas spot markets.

Neighboring Latvia, which has an underground gas storage facility, and links to Lithuania, also has plans to build an LNG terminal, which could increase the investment risk for a Polish-Lithuanian gas link.

It remains unclear how the project could be affected by Lithuania's plans to separate gas transportation and supply assets at Lietuvos Dujos by end-2014, a move opposed by Gazprom, which owns 37.1 percent. ($1 = 0.7517 euros) (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by Alison Birrane)