Exxon Looking for Buyers for Some Poland Shale Gas

HOUSTON (Dow Jones Newswires), Feb. 11, 2011

Exxon Mobil said it is looking for buyers for stakes in four shale gas concessions in Poland.

Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil and gas company by market value, is seeking partners for up to 49% of its equity in four concessions in the Podlasie Basin in Poland, according to a document announcing the sale released by IndigoPool, Schlumberger's mergers-and-acquisitions business.

Exxon Mobil said the sale is part of a long-standing practice of continually reviewing all assets to determine which ones have potential value to others. "This does not indicate any shift in Exxon Mobil's interest in Polish shale gas opportunities," said Patrick McGinn, a company spokesman. "We are continuing to evaluate the hydrocarbon resource potential in Poland."

Exxon Mobil, which will remain operator of the concessions, is planning an exploratory well in one of them this month and has acquired seismic data for another one, according to the document. The total area of the concessions is about 1 million acres. The price of the assets was not disclosed.

The data room will open Feb. 16 and offers are expected April. 15.

Exxon Mobil was awarded exploration acreage in the Podlasie and Lublin basins in Poland in 2009. Other major oil companies such as ConocoPhillips, Chevron and Marathon Oil have acquired significant positions in the country.

Exxon Mobil's move comes at a time when demand for gas produced in Europe is expected to grow vigorously as countries intensify their efforts to reduce their dependence on Russia as a supplier. Exxon and its rivals are hoping to meet Europe's need for new local supplies by using the same techniques that led to a huge boost in U.S. gas production in recent years.

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