Poland may hold only 1 Tcf in shale

Poland shale: country's shale resources may contain only 1 Tcf

Poland's first official shale gas estimate due next week will show deposits at 1 trillion cubic metres, a fifth of what had been floated earlier, the country's public TVP television broadcaster said in its Friday evening news bulletin, according to a report.

Warsaw has developed high expectations for shale gas to reduce Poland's overwhelming reliance on the highly-polluting coal and Russian gas deliveries since a US energy agency said the country may have 5.3 trillion cubic metres of the commodity.

Poland's centrist cabinet of Prime Minister Donald Tusk granted more than a 100 shale gas exploration licenses so far, including to global majors such as Chevron and ExxonMobil, as it tries to develop a new market on its soil.

"Even if it's less, it will be enough to satisfy demand of the Polish market for several decades ahead," Poland's Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski also told TVP, according to Reuters.

Budzanowski has recently made shale gas exploration a key priority for state-owned companies as Warsaw also hopes for future budget revenues from production it aims to start at the turn of 2014 and 2015.

But environmental concerns have already lead to a complete ban or temporary suspension on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in some other EU member states, while Brussels discusses risks stemming from the production.

ExxonMobil also said its two shale wells in Poland had not found commercial quantities of gas, prompting Gazprom Europe's largest gas supplier, to say European shale was an "illusion".

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