18 May 2011 16:24 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--Poland is holding a series of meetings with shale gas experts and officials from the US as it seeks to exploit reserves that could give it energy independence, the Polish economy ministry said on Wednesday.
The meetings, organised to correspond with President Barack Obama's visit to Warsaw on 27–28 May, should gain impetus from a study by the US Energy Information Administration which estimates Poland’s shale gas reserves at around 5.3 trillion cubic metres, it added.
This would be enough to meet Poland's annual gas consumption of 14 billion cubic metres for decades to come and put an end to its need to import 70% of its required gas from Russia, the ministry said.
Several companies from the US and Canada, where shale gas extraction has been pioneered, already have licences to drill in Poland.
Lane Energy Poland, a subsidiary of Isle of Man-based investment company 3Legs Resources, is drilling a third well in northern Poland after promising results from its first two wells.
French oil company Total has signed an agreement with US oil giant ExxonMobil to acquire an interest in the exploration of shale gas in Chelm and Werbkowice. US oil major Chevron has also obtained a licence to search for shale gas.
Polish refining, chemicals and petrochemicals group PKN Orlen has said that in 2012 it is to launch an upstream business with its own oil and gas extraction and energy production units. The strategy envisages a move into extracting and processing shale gas.
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