Poland is set to overhaul its investment regime for shale gas exploration following high-profile exits that have undermined confidence in the country’s nascent sector, according to a report.
is currently in the works to make it easier for companies to explore and
extract unconventional gas, Poland's Environment Minister Marcin Korolec told
an energy conference on Tuesday.
regime would lighten the many bureaucratic obstacles to exploration, including
environmental limitations, and create a state operator to take part in energy
expect the shale gas bill to be adopted by the end of June and Parliament
should do the same by the end of the year," Korolec was quoted as saying
have long said Poland needs to adopt laws that will give the stability and
predictability foreign investors need as they compete with local state-controlled
Poland is believed to hold significant shale gas resources, potential investors
have become increasingly wary after US giant ExxonMobil and now Canada’s Talisman
Energy have decided to pull the plug, with Marathon Oil of the US also heading
for the exit after poor drilling results.
departures have worried Polish officials who see shale gas as a key to reducing
dependence on Russian energy supplies.
Environment Minister Piotr Wozniak said: "Foreign capital is incredibly
important for the development of shale gas exploration in Poland, as Polish
companies do not have the experience and capital needed.
especially American companies that Poland has to rely on, as they are the most
experienced ones," he added, while declining to comment on the decisions
by ExxonMobil and Talisman to leave the country.
optimism among investors has been tempered by an unsettled regulatory landscape
and a downgrade of estimates for the size of potential reserves.
issued more than 100 shale gas exploration licences and some 40 test wells are
in operation, though none is expected to start producing gas before 2015.
permit-holders still active in Poland include US giant Chevron and Italy's Eni,
as well as smaller players such as UK independent San Leon Energy.