Polish gas giant contracts with UAE, withdraws from Iran

Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG) signed the Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement with Ras Al Khaimah Petroleum Authority in the United Arab Emirates and with RAK GAS LLC.

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The agreement, signed in the presence of the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, allows PGNiG to explore an area of 619 sq km at the coast of Ras Al Khaimah emirate and undertake production activities if gas is found. After each exploration stage, the Company may choose to relinquish its interest in the licence.

“All matters related to the execution of activities under the licence will be the responsibility of a newly established branch of PGNiG SA in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah,” reads PGNiG’s website.

“We are entering a region of fundamental importance for the global oil and gas market in what marks another step in the pursuit of the PGNiG Group’s strategy to strongly expand the international presence of its exploration and production segment,” said the PGNiG head Piotr Woźniak.

PGNiG acquired the licence via a tender in December 2018. The agreement allocates obligations and provides for a split of costs and profits under the licence. Initially, the work will be carried out in three two-year exploration stages, to be followed by a 30-year production phase.

The Ras Al Khaimah Petroleum Authority is the regulator of the oil and gas sector in the emirate. RAK GAS LLC is the emirate’s national oil company whose business includes exploration, production, delivery and processing of hydrocarbons.

The CEO of RAK GAS Nishant Dighe welcomed PGNiG to Ras Al Khaimah, saying that the company is looking “forward to a successful and mutually beneficial partnership” and expressed its confidence that “it will unlock the hydrocarbon potential in Ras Al Khaimah”.

The United Arab Emirates proven reserves amount to 98 billion barrels of oil and over 6 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, the latest OPEC statistics show. Crude oil production amounts to three million barrels a day and marketed production of natural gas to 54.1 billion cubic metres per annum.

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Withdrawing from Iran

The PGNiG has also informed that it has closed its office in Iran and finally withdrew from the country. This action comes in the time of growing Polish-Iranian tensions over the Warsaw Middle East conference scheduled for February 13-14 and co-organised by the US.

Nonetheless, the PGNiG withdrawal was not done on the spur of the moment as the company considered leaving Iran as early as in May 2018 after when the decision to terminate the US-Iranian nuclear deal was made. According to Poland’s “Business Insider”, the company has not given a precise date when its office in Iran ceased to function.

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