WARSAW Feb 5 Polish gas monopoly PGNiG
said on Tuesday it and four other state-controlled companies had
missed a deadline this week to work out how to cooperate in
developing the country's shale gas resources but would continue
PGNiG, copper miner KGHM and utilities PGE
, Tauron and Enea agreed last July to
spend 1.7 billion zlotys ($552.88 million) on joint exploration
and extraction of shale gas.
They had originally aimed to work out details by early
November but pushed that back to February 4.
"Our partners asked us to sign an appendix to the
agreement," PGNiG spokeswoman Joanna Zakrzewska said on Tuesday.
"Negotiations continue and like other business talks of this
type, they are not the easiest ones. We want to pinpoint the
cooperation principles precisely. We do not rule out that the
role of PGNiG will change," she said.
Poland has Europe's most ambitious plans for shale gas as a
means of reducing its dependence for natural gas on Russia,
which supplies the majority of Poland's annual consumption of
some 14 billion cubic metres.
Its shale plans have suffered setbacks, however, after the
country's estimated recoverable reserves were slashed by 90
percent and U.S. oil major ExxonMobil dropped plans to
explore for shale in Poland.
Potential investors have also complained about a lack of
clarity in laws in Poland where a new shale gas law is still in
Poland has 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
($1 = 3.0748 Polish zlotys)
(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; editing by Jason Neely)