Polish state-controlled oil and natural gas company Polskie Górnictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo (PGNiG) is set to begin oil and gas exploration operations in eastern Germany.

The company has signed agreements with Central European Petroleum (CEP) to jointly operate in a designated part of the Lubben license area located in the state of Brandenburg.

By mid-2016, PGNiG plans to invest more than €10m in the project, which is estimated to have deposits similar to the company’s Lubiatów-Miedzychód-Grotów field in Poland.

The field is estimated to have aggregate initial recoverable crude oil reserves of approximately seven million tons.

The firms will undertake crude oil and natural gas exploration, appraisal and production operations. Drilling of the first of the two initial exploration wells is expected to be completed before the end of this year.

PGNiG exploration and production management board vice-president Zbigniew Skrzypkiewicz said: "PGNiG’s involvement in the project is an element of the strategy adopted by the management board, under which one of the company’s overriding objectives is to increase oil and gas output abroad through the acquisition of exploration and production assets."

PGNiG will own 36% of the projects’ revenues while 39% will be held by CEP. Other project partner Rohol-Aufsuchungs Aktiengesellschaft (RAG) will own the remaining 25%.