WARSAW, April 3 Poland's treasury ministry is
worried that a new gas levy could take over 50 percent of
profits at exploration firms, above original projections for a
40-percent hit, limiting companies' willingness to drill for
The finance ministry last month said it wanted to levy a
1.5-percent and a 3-percent tax on shale and conventional gas
exploration, respectively, in a long-awaited detailed draft of
the law regulating oil and gas levies.
In an opinion sent to the finance ministry, responsible for
implementing the taxation, the treasury quoted calculations by
the state-controlled gas monopoly PGNiG, according to
which the levy might eat away over half of their profits.
"Financial analyses by PGNiG show that starting from 2016
the average level of the fiscal burden for PGNiG will grow
compared to the current model to over 1.2 billion zlotys ($367.6
million) annually," treasury minister Mikolaj Budzanowski said.
"PGNiG group net income for 2012 was 2.23 billion zlotys...
In consequence, the additional levy would burden PGNiG's net
profit by over 50 percent."
The ministry has said the taxes and levies on gas and oil
exploration would total about 40 percent of the sector's profits
from 2015, positioning Poland as a more attractive investment
than Norway, Great Britain and Australia.
Poland had counted on an expected abundance of shale gas
to boost growth and reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas.
Besides PGNiG, which owns most of the shale gas exploration
licences, the taxes will apply to such Polish companies as
refiners PKN Orlen and Lotos, as well as to
foreign players like Chevron Corp and Marathon Oil Corp