Poland's last big shale gas explorer set to quit

By bne IntelliNews May 10, 2016

PGNiG will end exploration for shale gas if a "last chance" well does not yield promising results in June, the CEO of the Polish state-controlled oil and gas company said on May 10.

PGNiG will start stimulation of a shale gas well in northern Poland on June 6. The stimulation – high-pressure pumping of water with additives to force gas out, a technique known as "fracking" – will last for a week. Should it fail to yield good results, the company will end its exploration effort, CEO Piotr Wozniak told reporters, according to Puls Biznesu.

PGNiG is the last big company actively exploring for shale gas in Poland. Most other major players, including ExxonMobil or ConocoPhillips, withdrew in recent years, citing low oil prices, that have rendered expensive exploration unfeasible. However, the main element was a failure to find commercial flows, as the difficult geology and depth of Polish reserves got in the way.

In the early years of this decade, Poland had hoped to benefit from it large resources of shale gas. Warsaw even spoke of becoming a major exporter, or at least eyed decades of self sufficiency so as to reduce dependence on imported Russian gas. At the peak of exploration efforts in 2012 and 2013, dozens of companies had plans to drill for shale gas on more than 100 concessions.

 

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