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Poland’s first shale gas well now in production

06 September 2013

Poland's deputy minister of the Environment and Chief National Geologist Piotr Wozniak has said that shale gas is successfully being extracted from a well near Lebork, northern Poland. Wozniak visited the site on August 30, where for over a month about 8,000 cubic metres of shale gas have being extracted per day. 

“This is very good news for Polish and European petroleum industries,” he told the Rzeczpospolita daily. 

Wozniak acknowledged that the productivity of the site is lower than gas fields in the US or Canada, but nevertheless claimed that the Lebork breakthrough marks the first such positive result for shale gas extraction in Europe. 

“This result should encourage other companies to accelerate work on their concessions, especially given that for a few weeks now, streamlined procedures for assessing the environmental impact of drilling have been in place,” he said. 

Poland is currently attempting to broaden its energy portfolio, partly in a bid to become less dependent on Russian natural gas. 

In a June report by US's Energy Information Administration (EIA), however, it was estimated that Poland's shale gas resources were lower than initially imagined (estimates dropped from 187 trillion to 148 trillion cubic feet). The Polish Geological Institute estimates the country’s shale gas resources to be 768 billion cubic metres.

Two major international concerns, Exxon Mobil and Talisman Energy, have already dropped out of the programme. 

The Lebork well is part of a concession belonging to Canadian company LNG Energy.

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