HOUSTON, Sept 9 ConocoPhillips (COP.N), the
third-largest U.S. oil major, said on Wednesday it has signed
an exploration and evaluation deal targeting shale gas in
The agreement with Lane Energy gives ConocoPhillips the
option to earn 70 percent and operate up to 1 million acres,
Larry Archibald, the company's vice president of exploration,
told the Barclays Capital energy conference in remarks
broadcast on the Internet.
The acreage in northern Poland is flat, easy to reach and
any natural gas produced can go into the European Union market,
which has good demand, Archibald said.
"What's not to like about this type of play?" the executive
Shale reserves hold vast amounts of natural gas. They are
unlocked by drilling horizontal wells and fracturing the rock
at various intervals deep underground.
ConocoPhillips, based in Houston, said it expects to drill
its first well in Poland in the first quarter of 2010.
Meanwhile, in North America where natural gas prices
recently fell to seven-year lows, ConocoPhillips is scaling
back its drilling in many areas.
Archibald said the company did not "feel a lot of pressure
to drill up" its North American shale positions at current
(Reporting by Anna Driver in Houston, editing by Dave