WARSAW Aug 28 Lane Energy Poland, an oil and
gas exploration company controlled by ConocoPhillips, is
extracting some 8,000 cubic metres of shale gas per day at a
test well in northern Poland, an amount unseen in Europe to
date, the Rzeczpospolita daily newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Poland, whose hopes for shale gas faded after three
international firms quit after disappointing drilling results,
has been looking for signs of bigger quantities of the
unconventional gas, which could help it reduce its reliance on
Lane Energy started production testing at its well in the
northern city of Lebork in July.
The daily amount of gas being produced there still does not
qualify as commercial production, but is the largest obtained in
any shale gas well so far in Europe, the newspaper said.
Lane Energy and ConocoPhillips were not immediately
available for comment.
"This is very good news for Poland and European oil
geology," Piotr Wozniak, deputy environment minister and
Poland's chief geologist, was quoted as saying.
He said the results should encourage other companies to
speed up work on shale gas exploration.
Polish refiner PKN Orlen is expected to announce
the results of production tests at its shale gas well in Syczyn
in eastern Poland, which Wozniak has described as one of the
most promising in the country.
Poland, which consumes 15 billion cubic metres of gas a
year, mostly imported from Russia, has estimated its recoverable
shale gas reserves at up to 768 billion cubic metres.
It has issued more than 100 shale gas exploration licences
to local and international firms which have drilled 48 wells to
Some companies, however, have complained that the commercial
output of shale gas is being delayed by red tape and difficult
geology. This year, Marathon Oil and Talisman Energy
followed Exxon Mobil in pulling out of Poland.