WARSAW Dec 12 U.S. energy major Chevron
will join forces on shale gas exploration in south-eastern
Poland with local state-controlled gas firm PGNiG to
lower costs and speed up the work, PGNiG said in a statement on
The agreement is the first example of cooperation between a
Polish firm and a foreign investor in the shale gas sector, move
keenly awaited by international players.
U.S. or Canadian firms would bring expertise in shale gas
exploration, while local firms would contribute access to
exploration licences and can help smooth relations with Polish
"The initiative is part of PGNiG's new policy of openness to
opportunities that might come from working with other companies
interested in Polish shale gas deposits," PGNiG said in a
The companies said that if the cooperation is successful,
they may set up a joint company in which both will hold a 50
percent stakes. A joint venture would bring together four
licences in south-eastern Poland: two from PGNiG, and two from
Binding agreements are expected to be signed in 2014.
Poland, which imports most of the gas it consumes from
Russia, had high hopes for its own shale gas reserves. But red
tape and poor drilling results have forced some global players
to pull out. They had also complained that Polish companies were
reluctant to cooperate.
"Chevron remains committed to our exploration program in
Poland," the U.S. company said on Thursday.