Poland shale deadline pushed back

by on November 12, 2012 3:58 pm BST

Gas monopoly PGNiG, copper miner KGHM and Poland’s three
largest utilities PGE, Tauron and Enea all said in separate statements they
needed more time for talks on a co-operation agreement signed in July,
according to Reuters.

They had originally set an early November date to hammer out
the details.

Central Europe’s biggest nation expects shale gas to play an
important role in helping its coal-reliant economy meet future European Union
climate policy and carbon emission targets.

Shale gas also could help the former Soviet bloc country
become less dependent on Russia, which supplies the majority of Poland’s annual
gas consumption of nearly 15 billion cubic metres.

However, high costs and risks related to shale gas
exploration have forced Poland to seek extra capital to attract more companies
to the sector beyond traditional upstream explorers such as PGNiG, PKN Orlen
and Lotos.

Earlier this year Poland slashed its estimates of
recoverable gas from shale, but still it sees the reserves as enough to play an
important role in meeting domestic demand.

Poland pegged its recoverable shale gas reserves at 346
billion to 768 billion cubic metres, well below an earlier estimate of 5.3
trillion by the US Energy Information Association.