Poland’s minister of the environment has revealed that test extractions of shale gas are in the pipeline over the coming months.
“We have information that some investors aim to carry out the tests this year,” Maciej Grabowski said.
“It will be the first such undertaking in Poland,” he added.
“We know that shale gas is there, but the most important question is whether the mining technology and the associated costs justify the exploitation of wells on an industrial level,” he concluded.
America’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated that Poland could have the biggest shale deposits in Europe (5 trillion cubic metres), but more recent estimates by Poland’s State Geological Institute have been lower, at 345.7 billion cubic metres.
Lack of clarity in laws governing the search for and extraction of shale gas contributed to some international investors, including Marathon Oil and Exxon Mobil, to pull out of their shale programmes in Poland.
However, earlier this year the government championed six-year tax breaks to companies involved in the programme, approving draft legislation on the matter in April.
Poland is currently engaged in a wide-ranging bid to broaden its energy portfolio. Besides shale and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) programmes, the government is also planning for the first part of a nuclear power station to be up and running within a decade. (nh)