Poland May Launch Shale Gas Production in 2014
Poland may start producing shale gas for commercial use in late 2014 or in 2015, the country's Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski has revealed.
Poland's shale gas deposits could be up to 2 trillion cubic meters, enough to add to the country's energy mix for decades, Budzanowski pointed out in an interview for a local radio channel on Thursday.
However, the Minister clarified that more drilling is necessary for more precise numbers.
He explained that the country's commercial shale gas production could be of up to 1 billion cubic meters per year.
Poland's annual gas consumption is 14 billion cubic meters and 70 percent of that comes from Russia, at prices dictated by its Gazprom monopoly.
Some 20 international companies – many of them American – have obtained licenses to explore for shale gas in Poland and some have done some test drilling.
Following widespread protests, on January 17, the Bulgarian government revoked a shale gas exploration permit granted to US Chevron for deposits in Northeastern Bulgaria, citing the insufficient proof of the environmental safety of hydraulic fracturing.
On January 18, the Cabinet imposed an indefinite ban on hydraulic fracturing, a method which involves injecting a mix of water, sand and chemicals at very high pressure deep underground to crack rock and release oil and gas.
Despite the move, Bulgarian environmental activists launched new initiatives in end-February, insisting that the ban should be enshrined in a law.
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