Poland’s PGNiG saw a strong rebound in revenues and net profit in the first quarter this year, despite having to import more gas from European spot hubs across its western border with Germany.

The state-run oil and gas producer's revenues rose by 6% year-on-year to almost 14.6 billion zloty ($3.9 billion), with net income jumping by 124% to 1.7 billion zloty.

Operating expenses dropped by 4% to 11.2 billion zloty.

Gas imports to meet domestic demand rose to 4.1 billion cubic metres in the reporting period as against 3.6 Bcm in the fourth quarter of last year.

Despite this increase, PGNiG reported a reducing dependence on gas supplies from Russian gas monopoly Gazprom.

Russian gas imports dropped to about 2.3 Bcm compared with 2.4 Bcm in the fourth of 2020.

Liquefied natural gas imports via its LNG regasification terminal at Swinoujscie on the Baltic Sea remained almost unchanged in the reporting period.

However, gas flows from Europe more than doubled from the average in last year's fourth and third quarters combined to over 1 Bcm between January and March.

With offshore pipelay work starting in the Baltic Sea under the Baltic Pipe project earlier in May, Poland hopes it can eliminate its reliance on Russian gas deliveries by the end of next year.

The country’s position runs counter to pronouncements from Moscow that Europe will require additional Russian gas during the transition period to cleaner fuels in the next 20 to 30 years, with the Kremlin pushing forward its Nord Stream 2 gas export pipeline to Germany under this pretext.

The Baltic Pipe project — which is a joint venture between gas transmission operators, Poland’s Gaz-System and Denmark’s Energinet — is expected to start operations in October next year and will be capable of delivering up to 10 Bcm per annum of gas from offshore gas projects in the North Sea.