Poland’s nitrogen fertilizer firms could benefit from shale gas

14 December 2009 12:21  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS news)--The gas feedstock prospects of Poland's nitrogen fertilizer firms could be transformed by shale gas projects, Poland's treasury ministry said on Monday.

“Everything points to the conclusion that in four or five years, Poland could become a place with quite a lot of gas, even perhaps becoming an exporter of the fuel,” said Maciej Wozniak, chief adviser on energy security to Polish prime minister Donald Tusk.

Wozniak spoke in the light of two US companies, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil, obtaining exploration licences to search for shale formations that could yield gas across hundreds of thousands of acres in Poland.

Poland depends on Russia for half of its natural gas. Moscow and Warsaw are currently involved in faltering talks on securing long-term supplies across the next decade or more.

Shale gas projects have been pioneered in the US, causing a jump in gas availability.

The projects involve fracturing rock formations, which are then injected with water and sand to release trapped fuel.

Russian gas exporter Gazprom said in a statement that Polish shale gas was “a long way off” from having a serious impact because long-term contracts are required for gas users to secure supplies and for producers to finance infrastructure projects.

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By: Will Conroy
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