Poland state-owned gas firm PGNiG announced it will cooperate with major U.S. energy company Chevron to explore for shale gas resources in southeast Poland, according to Reuters. The recent agreement, which is expected to be finalized in 2014, is the first instance that Poland has agreed to allow foreign investment in its gas industry.
PGNiG aims to reduce costs of producing shale gas and increase the efficiency of its shale exploration operations while reducing its dependence on Russian energy imports.
Local energy firms and foreign companies can mutually benefit from investing in developing Poland's shale gas exploration operations, according to Reuters. Polish energy firms, which could help obtain exploration licenses for foreign investors, benefit from the knowledge of U.S. and Canadian oil and gas companies.
"The initiative is part of PGNiG's new policy of openness to opportunities that might come from working with other companies interested in Polish shale gas deposits," PGNiG said in a statement.
The new agreement with Chevron helps advance recently appointed Environment Minister Maciej Grabowski's goal of increasing domestic shale gas production.