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Polish shale gas exploration 'too slow'

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 13.01.2014 10:26
A report by Poland's senior auditing institution has warned that at the current rate it will take 12 years before the country's shale gas potential can be properly assessed.

Photo: Glowimages

“In order to carry this out, it would be desirable to have about 200 wells,” the report by the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) argues.

NIK stressed that while 113 licenses have been issued, only a small proportion of the territory in question has actually been explored.

On average, companies that have won licenses are installing one drilling platform a year and putting others on hold, the TVN24 news station reports.

“The reason for the slow pace of operations stems not only from the changing economic and financial situation but also from improper government action,” NIK claims.

At present it takes an average 130 days to secure a license, whereas the process should last just 30 days.

NIK has accused the Ministry of the Environment of being “unreliable” and not acting swiftly enough.

The report also notes that aspects of the legal framework have still not been clarified, a factor which is not conducive to attracting investors.

Poland's shale programme was launched in 2011 in a bid to broaden its energy portfolio and lessen the country's current dependence on Russian gas.

After a phone call between Polish and British prime ministers last week, both governments pledged to work together against any EU regulation that could threaten the shale gas industry.

France and Germany have effectively ended shale gas exploration and London and Warsaw fear new regulations on gas emissions could threaten the new, cheaper source of energy.

Maciej Grabowski, who replaced Marcin Korolec as Poland's environment minister last month, vowed last week to make shale exploration a priority.

“In the last few years more than 50 wells have been drilled and, in my opinion, this pace is not satisfactory,” Grabowski told Reuters. “We want this work to accelerate.” (pg/nh)

tags: shale gas
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