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Breitling Oil Sees Poland Shale Decision in 2013, in U.K. Talks

Breitling Oil & Gas Corp., seeking shale investment in Poland, expects Marathon Petroleum Corp. to decide this year on its planned sale of assets in the country.

Breitling, which plans to list in New York, then Hong Kong or London, is among companies interested in acquiring the assets and is also in talks with a British company on investing in the U.K., Chief Executive Officer Chris Faulkner said yesterday in an interview, declining to name the party.

“The U.K. is on the right track,” he said in London. “We’d be fools not to exploit this.” Breitling would bid with a partner if it enters the next licensing round, Faulkner said.

The U.K. is luring drillers with lower taxes as it seeks to cut reliance on imports amid falling reserves from the North Sea. The Bowland shale in northern England may hold as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas, enough to meet demand for about 50 years, according to a government report in June.

Companies with U.K. shale acreage include Cuadrilla Resources Ltd., IGas Energy Plc, Celtique Energie Ltd., Dart Energy Ltd., Egdon Resources Plc, Aurora Petroleum Ltd. and Reach Coal Seam Gas Ltd.

In Poland, Exxon Mobil Corp. and Talisman Energy Inc. have been exiting after disappointing results. Potentially tighter European Union regulation on environmental-impact assessments may be a deterrent to investment, Faulkner said.

The CEO plans to list Irving, Texas-based Breitling in New York in the “near-term,” declining to estimate how much may be raised. It has operations in Texas, North Dakota and Oklahoma.

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