WARSAW Feb 15 Polish gas monopoly PGNiG has now completed its first, but delayed, horizontal fracturing well probing a shale gas prospect on the Baltic Sea coast, and will present the results in a few weeks, it said on Friday.
U.S. drilling contractor Halliburton is conducting the drilling at PGNiG's Lubocino site in the Wejherowo concession area.
Poland is counting on untapped shale gas reserves to help it become less dependent on Russia, which supplies more than half of the near 15 billion cubic metres of natural gas which the country burns annually.
But poor drilling results so far and a lack of detailed legal regulation has caused some doubts about Poland's true shale gas potential.
Poland estimates its recoverable shale gas reserves at between 346 billion and 768 billion cubic metres.
PGNiG's testing at Lubocino is crucial as it will provide data for a new report, being compiled by the state geological institute, on the prospective size of shale gas reserves.
The company, which has 15 of the country's more than 100 shale gas concessions, originally intended to have the results from hydraulic fracturing in the Lubocino well at the end of last year but said it had hit unexpected geological problems.
Exploration companies have drilled 40 test wells over the past few years in Poland. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Greg Mahlich)