Poland took another step towards weening itself off Russian energy supplies on Wednesday by signing a 20-year agreement with San Diego-based Sempra Energy to import U.S. liquefied natural gas.
The signing marks the third long-term contract the state-controlled Polish Oil and Gas Company, or PGNiG, has inked with an American LNG company this year. In the coming years, Warsaw plans to replace Russian gas with pipeline supplies from Norway and shipments of LNG, or gas super-chilled to liquid from for transport by sea.
That is opening an opportunity for the U.S. energy industry, which is on the cusp of a opening a second wave of LNG export terminals. The Trump administration, eager to dominate the global energy market, has been pitching the supplies in trade talks from Beijing to Warsaw.
Eastern and Central European nations, which have a complicated and frequently antagonistic relationship with Moscow, have been a receptive audience.
"This is a big deal," said Assistant Secretary Francis Fannon, who heads the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources. Fannon told CNBC's "Power Lunch" that Poland is "stepping up and answering the call on energy security" for Europe.