WARSAW Feb 5 Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk
said on Wednesday his government would approve new
investor-friendly laws within two weeks aimed at cutting red
tape and regulatory hurdles that have dented the country's push
to develop shale gas resources.
Poland launched a major push into shale three years ago when
Tusk announced the country would seek to produce unconventional
gas on a commercial scale in 2014 in an effort to wean the
nation off Russian supplies.
But a 2012 report that cut Poland's estimated reserves by
about 90 percent, the lack of a legal framework and some poor
initial drilling results prompted Marathon Oil, Talisman
Energy and Exxon Mobil to quit the country.
Tusk said the government should approve a new, more
business-friendly draft of a shale gas law in two weeks and
would not pursue the creation of a state-owned operator.
An earlier version of the draft saw a state operator called
NOKE having a stake in each licence and able to control the
investments - a proposal shale companies criticised as too
"Today we understand that in order to count money from shale
gas, we must first of all begin to extract it," Tusk said at a
news conference along with recently appointed Environment
Minister Maciej Grabowski.
"We need to cut down on bureaucracy concerning shale gas
exploration. To encourage the exploration we have to prepare a
less rigorous bill."
After winning government approval, the draft law must still
pass through parliament - a process that could take a few