Poland's first horizontal shale gas well completed by UK company

22 June 2011 13:49  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--British firm 3Legs Resources has completed Poland's first horizontal well in the search for shale gas, the company said on Wednesday.

High gas saturations were encountered throughout the 1,000m (3,281 feet) horizontal section of the well, 4,080m (13,385 feet) below the surface at Lebien, in the Baltic Basin, northern Poland, it added.

“We are pleased to have finalised the drilling and casing of our first horizontal well which is, to the best of our knowledge, the first horizontal shale gas well to be drilled in Poland,” said Peter Clutterbuck, chief executive of 3Legs Resources.

“We are very encouraged by the excellent gas shows encountered while drilling this horizontal well and we look forward to the results of the well stimulation and test programme later this year,” he added.

Robert Rethy, an analyst at Prague-based Wood & Company investment bank, was cautious in his assessment of the potential of the well.

He concluded in a note to investors: “Although it is too early to get overly excited, this newsflow appears to be positive and we expect intensifying newsflow on shale gas exploration as more and more drilling takes place and is completed (a total of seven to eight licence holders were expected to drill in Poland in 2011).

“On the other hand, we highlight that the indicated depth of more than 4,000 metres and the horizontal drilling imply that the geology may not be easy and that the exploration/drilling is probably even more expensive and complicated than initially thought.”

According to latest analysis from Erste Group Bank, Europe will have to wait at least five years before any significant production rates of unconventional gas are achieved, while shale gas producers will have to overcome significant water and soil contamination concerns.

Shale gas producers first drill wells then “stimulate” dense shale deposits into releasing gas with hydrofracturing, or “fracking”, by pumping in a fluid at high pressure.

3Legs Resources is working with US energy major ConocoPhillips to help cover the costs of its shale gas exploration in Poland.

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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