Poland easing informal ban on shale gas firms: investment bank

16 May 2012 17:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Indications that the Polish government is easing away from its informal ban on domestic companies cooperating with foreign partners in shale gas exploration are good news for the prospective development of the sector, an investment bank said Wednesday.

"We believe it is difficult to imagine that Poland can successfully explore, develop and produce shale gas exclusively using state-controlled companies engaged in various [unrelated] sectors," Robert Rethy, an analyst at Prague-based Wood & Company, wrote in a bulletin for investors.

"Ideally, a broad range of investors should be involved, to bring in the necessary experience, technology and project management skills that most of the state-controlled companies may lack," he added.

The government's change in stance appears to have come about following a visit to Canada by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, Rethy said.

In February, Polish oil and petrochemicals group PKN Orlen ruled out forming a shale gas exploration partnership with Canadian energy firm Encana.

A source at Orlen said it was possible that the option of shale gas cooperation with Encana might be revisited.

Other state-controlled companies with shale gas exploration licences in Poland include oil and petrochemical group Grupa Lotos and gas monopoly PGNiG.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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