Fitch: Shale gas in Poland could still be game changer in energy sector.

By bne IntelliNews March 22, 2012
Shale gas in Poland could still be a game changer for the country's energy sector despite the disappointing shale gas reserve estimate published by the Polish Geological Institute (PGI), according to Fitch Ratings. PGI assessed most likely recoverable shale gas reserves to be 345-768bn m3, which is about one-tenth the 5.3tr m3 estimated by the US Energy Information Administration in April of 2011. Fitch notes that so far, less than 20 exploration wells have been drilled by domestic and foreign companies, in many cases with disappointing results. Still, exploration by Poland's energy companies at an early stage gives them a chance to become major players should the commercial availability of gas be proven over the next several years, Fitch stresses. This was not the case in the US, where the shale gas industry was developed by a number of smaller, independent players. Large US oil and gas companies have only recently started to be active in the sector, mostly through acquisitions, it adds. A number of foreign companies already have exploration concessions for shale gas in Poland, including ExonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips (through a service agreement with Lane Energy), Marathon Oil and Eni. Local players that have been granted exploration concessions include PGNiG, PKN Orlen, Grupa Lotos and Petrolinvest. Another three large domestic companies - PGE, Tauron, and KGHM - also plan to enter shale gas exploration. In January of 2012, they signed three separate letters of intent with PGNiG regarding cooperation in shale gas projects.

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