Polish oilmen go Arctic

Tromso, a city in Norway's Arctic.  Polish energy company PGNiG has taken over Danish company Dong’s offices in  Tromsø and is preparing for exploration in Arctic waters. (iStock)
Tromso, a city in Norway’s Arctic. Polish energy company PGNiG has taken over Danish company Dong’s offices in Tromsø and is preparing for exploration in Arctic waters. (iStock)
The Polish energy company PGNiG aims for Norwegian Arctic licenses in areas near the maritime border to Russia.

The Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) opens an office in northern Norway and buys license shares in Norwegian Arctic projects. The company has now taken over Danish company Dong’s offices in the northern Norwegian town of Tromsø and prepares for exploration in Arctic waters.

“We are in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, and now we are looking towards the Barents Sea”, company representative Slawomir Hinc says to Nord24.no. He confirms that the upcoming 23rd License Round is of special interest for the company.

Competition with Russian companies

In that license round, the Polish company will compete with Russian companies Rosneft and Lukoil, as well as a number of other companies, for stakes in projects located further north and further east than ever before on the Norwegian shelf. If successful, PGNiG could potentially get license stakes in projects located directly along the maritime border to Russia.

The Polish company is part of the Statoil-lead consortium which has completed comprehensive collection of seismic data in the easternmost waters of the Norwegian shelf, Nord24 writes.

Years of Polish engagement with Arctic

The takeover of the Tromsø office also includes the eight staff members who previously worked for Dong.

The Arctic engagement of the Polish companies comes after years of operations in Norway. In 2007, the company established an office outside Norwegian oil capital Stavanger. At present, PGNiG holds interests in 17 licences on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea, including eight exploration licences, as well as licences on four producing fields (Skarv, Vilje, Vale and Morvin) and two fields which are currently being developed (Snadd and Gina Krog), the company informs.

In the Barents Sea the companies has stakes in two project licenses obtained as part of the 22nd License Round.

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Feature Interview – Unconventional petroleum resources found in Canada’s Sahtu region…. Now what?, Eye on the Arctic

Finland: Finns still sharply divided over wind power, Yle News

Greenland: Arctic oil and gas must stay in ground to restrict warming to 2°C says study, Blog by Mia Bennett

Iceland:  From Arctic Circle 2013-2014, a big drop in the price of oil, Blog by Mia Bennett

Norway:  Norway surpasses Russia as top gas supplier, Barents Observer

Russia: Parallels drawn between space race and Arctic offshore development, Blog by Mia Bennett

United States: Appeals court upholds Shell’s Arctic oil spill plans, Blog by Mia Bennett

Atle Staalesen, The Independent Barents Observer

For more news from the Barents region visit The Independent Barents Observer.

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