Wisent finds Polish shale potential promising, starts fracking

WARSAW, June 21 Fri Jun 21, 2013 5:24am EDT

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WARSAW, June 21 (Reuters) - Wisent Oil and Gas, partly owned by Poland's Petrolinvest and the U.S. Hallwood Resources, found its initial shale oil and gas operations in Poland promising and decided on further drilling, the company said on Friday.

Its decision to hire the Warsaw based United Oilfield Services for drilling comes in a time when hopes for shale gas in Poland have diminished after three global firms left disappointed with poor drilling results and an uncertain legal environment.

Until now 46 wells have been drilled in Poland, with few key hydraulic fracturing processes taking place on more than 100 licences awarded to companies, but experts say that hundreds of wells are needed to show whether shale gas output is profitable.

United Oilfield Services, partly financed by venture fund Enterprise Investors, will conduct the hydraulic fracturing for Wisent this summer in the towns of Rodele and Babiak, in the nort-east of Poland.

Hydraulic fracturing or fracking is blasting water and chemicals deep underground to prop open rocks and is a key element in the process of shale oil and gas exploration.

Is is also criticized by some environmental groups, who say the process is unsafe and could contaminate drinking water supplies.

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