PGNiG has signed a contract to buy an extra $300 million of natural gas from an export arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom, a spokeswoman for Poland`s gas monopoly said on Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported.

Under the contract, PGNiG will buy 1.024 billion cubic meters of gas by September 30, 2009. The gas will be supplied via Ukraine and Belarus.

"The contract is worth roughly $300 million at current prices," Joanna Zakrzewska said.

"The contract with Gazprom will enable PGNiG to fill gas storage systems for the coming fall and winter, which was previously impossible as the contract with RosUkrEnergo was not implemented," she said.

Zakrzewska described Gazprom as a reliable supplier and said gas had already started to arrive.

With supplies affected by the gas dispute between Ukraine and Russia at the turn of the year, Poland said it received only half of the agreed deliveries via Ukraine in January, and by March only 78% of contracted volumes had been delivered.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller blamed Swiss-registered gas trader RosUkrEnergo for the shortage, and Poland threatened to sue the company.

Poland consumes some 14 bcm of natural gas annually, including 6.2 bcm of Russian natural gas. The Central European country itself produces 2.4 bcm of gas, and transits 30 bcm to Germany.

RIA Novosti