Exxon, Talisman Selling Polish Shale Gas Leases

WARSAW--Canadian oil and gas company Talisman Energy Inc. and U.S.-based Exxon Mobil Corp. are in talks with Poland's largest oil firm PKN Orlen SA to sell their Polish shale gas exploration licenses, daily Rzeczpospolita reports Monday, citing unnamed sources.

Foreign and domestic companies are concerned about planned levels of taxation and the involvement of the state once the industry moves to the next phase and starts producing commercial volumes of shale gas in Poland, the daily says.

Exxon decided earlier this year to exit Poland after drilling just two wells, saying it didn't find enough oil or gas to justify additional drilling.

Poland would like to use its shale gas reserves to reduce its reliance on natural gas imported from Russia and build gas-fired power plants to diversify away from coal as the primary source of its electricity. The government has encouraged state-controlled firms, led by gas firm PGNiG SA and PKN Orlen, to carry out exploration drilling, mostly in Poland's north and east.



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