Baltic Natural Gas Pipe Begins Full Service, Opening Path for 350 Bcf in Europe

Europe’s newest natural gas pipeline entered full service this week, bringing Poland one step closer to eliminating its reliance on Russian supplies. 

The Baltic Pipe, which connects systems in Denmark, Norway and Poland, entered partial service Oct. 1. The 350 Bcf line began full operation on Wednesday.

“By constructing the new gas pipeline, we are helping to fulfill Poland’s wish to become independent of Russian gas,” said Energinet’s Torben Brabo, director of international affairs at Denmark’s transmission system operator (TSO). “Baltic Pipe also helps Poland transform its energy system from coal to natural gas, which is an important stepping stone on the road toward much more renewable energy.” 

Poland has worked to cut its reliance on Russian natural gas supplies by expanding its relationships with additional pipeline suppliers and LNG exporters, particularly those in Norway, Qatar and the United States. Russia cut off gas supplies to Poland earlier this year and limited deliveries to Europe in retaliation to Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.

Baltic Pipe is a joint venture between Energinet and Poland’s TSO Gaz-System. The line also strengthens the supplies of countries connected to Poland by gas pipelines. While 80% of the system’s capacity is reserved for the next 15 years, unused capacity is available for bidding.

The pipeline was sanctioned in 2018, and work started in 2019. It links Norwegian supplies with Poland via a route through Denmark and waters offshore.

The system also enters service at a crucial time. Other members of the European Union (EU) are working to diversify supplies to shift from Russian gas imports. While other new pipelines are under consideration on the continent, liquefied natural gas import capacity in the EU and UK is set to expand by 34%, or 6.8 Bcf/d by 2024 compared to 2021, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

Baltic Natural Gas Pipe Begins Full Service, Opening Path for 350 Bcf in Europe