WARSAW Nov 12 Five state-controlled Polish
companies on Monday pushed back a deadline to work out the
details of how to cooperate in developing the country's shale
gas resources to Feb. 4 of next year.
Central Europe's biggest nation expects shale gas to play an
important role in helping its coal-reliant economy meet future
European Union climate policy and carbon emission targets.
Shale gas also could help the former Soviet-block country
become less dependent on Russia, which supplies the majority of
Poland's annual gas consumption of nearly 15 billion cubic
Gas monopoly PGNiG, copper miner KGHM and
Poland's three largest utilities PGE, Tauron
and Enea all said in separate statements they needed
more time for talks on a cooperation agreement signed in July.
They had originally set an early November date to hammer out
High costs and risks related to shale gas exploration have
forced Poland to seek extra capital to attract more companies to
the sector beyond traditional upstream explorers such as PGNiG,
PKN Orlen and Lotos.
Earlier this year Poland slashed its estimates of
recoverable gas from shale, but still it sees the reserves as
enough to play an important role in meeting domestic demand.
Poland pegged its recoverable shale gas reserves at 346
billion to 768 billion cubic metres, well below an earlier
estimate of 5.3 trillion by the U.S. Energy Information
(Reporting by Maciej Onoszko; Editing by Michael Kahn and Jane