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PKN and Kuwait Energy team up to explore for crude

Poland's largest fuel refiner, PKN Orlen has joined up with the Kuwait Energy Company to buy a company giving it the right to explore for crude and gas off the coast of Latvia.

The move represents a small step in Poland's drive to diversify its energy supply sources away from its former communist master Russia, from which it get almost 70% of its natural gas imports and 90% of its crude imports.

Unlike its smaller Polish rival Lotos, PKN buys all of the crude it refines.

The state-controlled Polish fuel group said it had signed an agreement acquire a 50% stake in Odin Energi Latvija from Odin Energi A/S for $950,000. The Kuwait Energy Company had acquired the other 50% stake, it added.

Odin Energi is a Danish privately-owned oil exploration company.

PKN's stake gives it the right to a 45% stake in concessions to explore and extract crude and natural gas from the Latvian economic zone on the Baltic Sea, the company said. (Reuters)