Trump says gas deal with Poland should take '15 minutes'

Trump says gas deal with Poland should take '15 minutes'
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President Trump said Thursday that he wants American and Polish companies to sign a long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) deal quickly.

In a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, both said that they want a long-lasting deal to export LNG regularly from the United States to Poland’s import terminal in the Baltic Sea.

“America stands ready to help Poland and other European nations diversify their energy supplies, so that you can never be held hostage to a single supplier,” Trump said in his prepared remarks in Warsaw.

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“I think we can enter a contract for LNG within the next 15 minutes,” he said later to Duda. “Do you have anybody available to negotiate? It will take about 15 minutes.”

Duda laughed in response, saying that it is up to private companies in both countries, not the presidents, to negotiate such a deal.

But Duda said the government and private sector are both looking forward to such an agreement.

“I believe that after the conclusion of those negotiations, there will be a long-term contract for U.S. LNG deliveries to our LNG terminal,” he said.

LNG exports were a major priority for both countries in Trump’s Thursday morning visit to Poland.

Poland relies overwhelmingly on Russia for natural gas supplies, as do other eastern European nations. Russia can use the reliance to push its geopolitics priorities.

Those countries and the United States see American LNG as a viable substitute for Russian natural gas, even if it is more expensive. Duda said he wants to make sure the area is no longer subject to “blackmailing” by Russia.

While not mentioning Russia by name, Trump agreed that he wants to help Poland diversify its energy supplies.

“We are committed to securing your access to alternate sources of energy, so Poland and its neighbors are never again held hostage to a single supplier of energy,” he later said in a public speech in Warsaw directed toward the Polish people.

The United States only has one operating LNG export terminal in the contiguous 48 states, Cheniere Energy’s Sabine Pass facility on the border of Texas and Louisiana.

But numerous other terminals have been approved and will be allowed to export natural gas to nearly any country. The boom has been fueled by rapid growth of domestic gas production in recent years.

Poland received its first LNG shipment last month, but there is no current long-term contract.