WARSAW--Two Polish state-controlled companies, PGNiG SA (PGN.WA) and PKN Orlen SA (PKN.WA), should consider partnering to explore and then develop PGNiG's large number of shale gas licenses, Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski said Wednesday.
Gas utility PGNiG is expected to unveil a shale joint venture to continue exploring its license near Wejcherowo on the Baltic coast with a handful of other state-controlled companies later Wednesday, but the deal is unlikely to include refining company PKN Orlen.
Poland is scrabbling to help PGNiG line up financing and share the risk of exploration to speed up commercial production of gas from shale rocks, especially in case more private sector investors pull out of the country following Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (XOM) departure.
"The companies [PGNiG and PKN] will decide for themselves about cooperating," Mr. Budzanowski was quoted as saying in daily Dziennik Gazeta Prawna. "PGNiG has a very large number of licenses and it's conceivable that Orlen could not just explore some of them but also conduct the production in the future."
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