WARSAW Dec 28 (Reuters) - Polish oil refiner PKN Orlen has sold some of its so-called mandatory oil stocks to Royal Bank of Scotland for $383 million, freeing up funds for the company's energy and shale gas exploration projects, PKN said on Friday.
This is the second such deal for PKN this year that will allow the company to cut the cost of holding oil stocks required for Poland's strategic reserves. PKN has now done four of these deals in total.
"For the last two years we have been reducing the burden on our balance sheet thanks to a change in the formula of holding mandatory inventories," PKN's chief executive Jacek Krawiec said in a statement.
"We have freed up a total of nearly 2.4 billion zlotys thanks to these deals," he said. "We will be able to invest these funds to achieve the goals from our strategy ... especially regarding energy and unconventional gas exploration."
PKN said it had sold 545,000 tonnes of crude oil, or 18 percent of its total mandatory oil inventories, to Whirlwind, a special purpose vehicle created by the Polish unit of Royal Bank of Scotland.
Under the deal, Whirlwind will maintain the oil stocks for PKN until January 28, 2014.
PKN said the deal had been approved by the government agency that oversees mandatory oil stocks. The proceeds will reduce the company's debt at the end of 2012, it said.