Results 'humble' so far for Polish shale gas, minister says

WARSAW Wed Nov 28, 2012 8:13pm IST

Related Topics

Stocks

   

WARSAW Nov 28 (Reuters) - Poland's efforts to develop shale gas resources to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies have so far produced only "humble" results, deputy environment minister Piotr Wozniak said on Wednesday.

An uncertain legal landscape and a lengthy testing process from exploration wells partly explain why Poland has not yet cashed in on the potential that has attracted oil majors and international exploration companies to the country.

There had been only "very humble results so far with only 33 wells completed," Deputy Environment Minister Piotr Wozniak told a shale gas conference.

Wozniak said the government expects to pick up the pace by drilling a further 270 wells over the next seven to eight years.

The former Soviet-bloc nation sees shale gas as a way to reduce its dependence on highly polluting coal, the source of around 90 percent of its power, and on Russia, supplier of most of Poland's gas at a price which Warsaw views as uncompetitive.

Poland had high hopes for domestic shale gas after a 2011 study by the U.S. Energy Information Association estimated its reserves at 5.3 trillion cubic metres, enough to cover domestic demand for around three centuries.

But the country's own study published this year slashed the estimate for recoverable shale gas reserves to between 346 billion and 768 billion cubic metres.

The country's shale future suffered another blow this year when U.S. oil major ExxonMobil announced it would pull out of exploration projects in Poland.

Wozniak said it was not yet clear what would happen with Exxon's former licences but that it was not uncommon for company's at this stage to leave concessions.

"Every single licence has been changed once over the past three years," he said. "All new investors change the plans at least once."

Wozniak underlined the importance for Poland to assure nervous foreign investors by laying out clear regulations for exploration, drilling and extraction.

"Shale gas will force energy market liberalisation in Poland and the CEE region," he said. "We need more gas than we have so far."

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Reliance Q4 sales rise, refining margin narrows.  Read 

Literary Giant Dies

Literary Giant Dies

Nobel winner Garcia Marquez, master of magical realism, dies at 87.  Full Article 

Election 2014

Election 2014

India holds biggest day of voting with BJP gaining strength  Full Article | Full Coverage 

Insider Trading

Insider Trading

Ex-Goldman director Gupta starts prison term on June 17.  Full Article 

Market Eye

Market Eye

Sensex jumps 351 points, snaps 3-day losing streak  Full Article 

Expansion Plans

Expansion Plans

Reliance Industries, HPCL Mittal plan refinery expansions.  Full Article 

S&P on India

S&P on India

S&P: India's ratings to depend on next govt econ, fiscal policies.  Full Article 

Ambitious Aim

Ambitious Aim

In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch.  Full Article 

Bond Market

Bond Market

A star abroad, RBI boss riles bond traders at home  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage