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Poland's PGNiG looks for US partners for shale gas exploration

PGNiG hopes to team up with a US operator to explore for shale gas in Poland and says it will sign an agreement in October

The state-run oil and gas company is reportedly in talks with several US companies, including Chevron, ExxonMobil and Marathon Oil, to assess the country's unconventional gas potential, according to local media.

PGNiG's chief executive, Micha Szubski, says negotiations are under way with one US developer, which already has a concession for shale-gas exploration in Poland. The company's chairman, Stanisaw Rychlicki, says financial backing from the US could be vital to the success of potentially risky shale-gas exploration in Poland.

Poland's shale-gas resources are not known, but estimates vary between 1.5 trillion and 3 trillion cubic metres (cm). The country joined the US shale-gas initiative in July, which aims to share industry knowledge gained in the US with potential producing countries.

Poland consumes 14bn cm/y of natural gas, most of which is imported from Russia. But exploitation of the country's shale-gas reserves could see Poland becoming a net gas exporter.

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