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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland’s PGNiG signs deal to drill for gas in Ukraine

31.08.2021 15:05
Polish energy giant PGNiG says it has signed an agreement with Ukraine's ERU Management Services to buy a controlling stake in a Ukrainian firm that holds a licence to drill for hydrocarbons in an area near Poland.
Photo:
Photo:Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

The Ukrainian company, called Karpatgazvydobuvannya, is "the sole holder of the Byblivska licence" authorizing it "to explore for and produce hydrocarbons in the western part of the Lviv Oblast, adjacent to the Polish border," PGNiG said in a statement in English on Monday.

It added that "in terms of geology the area is an analogue of Przemyśl, Poland’s largest natural gas field operated by PGNiG for more than 60 years."

The site's "attractiveness and potential have been confirmed through PGNiG’s preliminary analyses of geological and geophysical data," the Polish company also said.

It quoted its CEO Paweł Majewski as saying that the latest agreement marked "a step in PGNiG’s strategy to expand its operations on foreign markets, being a part of the company’s efforts to diversify its sources and directions of natural gas supply."

"We believe all these efforts will help strengthen energy security not only for Poland and Ukraine, but also for all the countries of the Three Seas Initiative,” Majewski said, as cited on his company's website.

He added: “For the past five years, we have been actively trading natural gas in Ukraine. Not only have we launched gas sales to the Ukrainian market, but we have also gained access to the Ukrainian gas transmission network and storage facilities, thereby increasing our ability to optimise trade in natural gas.

"Our successful activities so far and strong cooperation with ERU have whetted our appetite to further tap the potential of the Ukrainian market, and so our partnership is being extended to include upstream."

Under the agreement, PGNiG will acquire 85 percent of Karpatgazvydobuvannya, with trial well drilling scheduled to begin in the second half of next year, according to the statement.

If tests yield positive results, "the well will be connected to the Ukrainian gas network and brought onstream in 2023," PGNiG said in its statement.

Dale Perry, managing partner at ERU Management Services, a co-owner of Karpatgazvydobuvannya, said, as quoted on pgnig.pl website“I am proud of the cooperative efforts of ERU and PGNiG, bringing to reality the regional energy initiatives envisioned two years ago this month, in Warsaw between the US, Poland and Ukraine, when we had contracted the supply of American LNG with our Polish partner."

He added: "As US and Polish companies working together in Ukraine with our Ukrainian E&P project company (Karpatgazvydobuvannya LLC), we believe this sets an important example for further regional cooperation in an important sector."

Poland's PGNiG said in March it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Ukrainian oil and gas company Naftogaz to work together in drilling for hydrocarbons and producing gas in that country.

The announcement of that team-up came on the heels of a report late last year that PGNiG was seeking to export more gas to neighboring Ukraine, while also eyeing extraction and storage opportunities in that country.

The Polish energy giant said in October last year it had signed an investment agreement with Energy Resources of Ukraine (ERU) "on a joint exploration and production project” in Ukraine.

Poland’s PGNiG and Energy Resources of Ukraine at the end of 2019 struck a deal to work together in drilling for and extracting gas from deposits that straddle the Polish-Ukrainian border.

The latest deal with Ukraine's ERU Management Services comes at a time when Poland is working intensely to reduce its dependence on Russia for gas, experts have noted.

Poland's PGNiG said in November 2019  it would not renew a long-term deal on gas imports with Russia’s Gazprom when the contract expires at the end of 2022.

(gs)

Source: biznesalert.plpgnig.pl