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Saturday, July 16, 2005

Now Poland Claims Its Share in the Iraqi Cake

Al Jazeerah:
Polish fuel group to seek Iraqi extraction rights

WARSAW (Reuters) -

Poland's prime minister and the head of a state oil holding company will visit Iraq to seek extraction contracts for oilfields in its northern Kirkuk region, financial daily Parkiet reported on Saturday.

Parkiet said Prime Minister Marek Belka and Nafta Polska chief Adam Sek were likely to make the trip later this month, and wanted to secure upstream supplies for state-dominated oil group PKN Orlen, which is one of 14 firms bidding for a nearby Turkish refinery Tupras.

'We are going to present the Iraqis our offer,' Parkiet reported Sek as saying. 'At the beginning we would be satisfied if we secured (extraction rights to) around 500,000 tonnes annually.'

Poland has almost no domestic oil deposits, and Orlen and its other major refiner Lotos import most of their crude from Russia.

Nafta Polska began a search late last year for foreign exploration and extraction rights which to date has generated only some preliminary talks, including for fields in Libya.

The deal could connect with Orlen's bid for the Tupras refinery, where it faces stiff competition from several oil majors as well as regional competitor Austria's OMV and Turkish domestic players.

In its five-year strategy unveiled earlier this year, Orlen said it would focus on developing its existing assets, but it has also said it has about 1.7 billion euros ($2 billion) to spend on acquisitions."


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