PGNiG Holds Talks With BNK Petroleum on Shale Gas Licenses

Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (PGN), Poland’s biggest gas company, is talking to BNK Petroleum Inc. (BKX) to buy stakes in its licenses for shale-gas exploration in Poland.

“We are in talks,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer Marek Karabula told reporters in Warsaw today, declining to give the number of licenses that are subject to the negotiations.

BNK plans to appoint a financial adviser this year to assist in the evaluation of farm-in inquiries received on a number of its wholly owned European projects, it said on Dec. 5.

Camarillo, California-based BNK’s chief executive officer, Wolf E. Regener, said Nov. 21 that the company has always been considering potential partnerships. BNK has six licenses to seek shale gas in Poland through its two units, Saponis Investments Sp. z o.o., and Indiana Sp. z o.o. PGNiG, as Gornictwo is known, owns 15 licenses.

BNK and companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) bought more than 100 licenses sold by Poland’s government. The eastern European country, which is seeking to reduce its reliance on Russian gas, may hold enough fuel trapped in shale to meet its needs for 300 years, the U.S. Department of Energy said in April.

BNK has to drill three wells on licenses held by its Indiana unit and contracted a rig to start drilling in the first quarter of 2012, the company said on Nov. 10.

To contact the reporters on this story: Maciej Martewicz in Warsaw at mmartewicz@bloomberg.net; Marek Strzelecki in Warsaw at mstrzelecki1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net

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