February 28, 2015 / 9:50 AM / 3 years ago

Lithuania signs non-binding deal for U.S. LNG

OSLO, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Lithuanian liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer Litgas has signed a non-binding agreement to purchase LNG from the United States’ first export terminal, the company said on Saturday.

The Baltic states and Poland are looking to imports from the United States to reduce their dependence on supplies from Russia. Lithuania opened a floating import terminal last year and Poland plans to open another one later in 2015.

U.S. LNG exporters are looking to the small Baltic states and Poland as hopes fade for a boom in Asian demand for cheap North American natural gas.

North America’s first LNG export terminal, Cheniere Energy Inc’s Sabine Pass, is expected to send first cargoes by late 2015. “We can begin receiving cargoes as early as 2016 to match demand,” Litgas Chief Executive Dominykas Tuckus said.

Litgas was not immediately available to comment on the volumes potentially involved.

Litgas has already signed a deal with Norway’s Statoil to buy 0.54 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year via Lithuania’s floating LNG import terminal, opened last year. It has a further 16 non-binding agreements with companies supplying about half the world’s LNG.

Russia’s Gazprom was sole gas supplier to the Baltic states until the end of 2014, and Poland gets about half of its gas from Russia. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by David Holmes)

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