WARSAW Dec 31 Five Polish state-controlled
companies said their deal to cooperate on developing the
country's shale gas resources would expire on Tuesday, and
according to a source close to the matter, the arrangement will
not be renewed.
Gas monopoly PGNiG, copper miner KGHM and
utilities PGE, Tauron and Enea
agreed in 2012 to spend 1.7 billion zlotys ($566 million) on
joint exploration and extraction of shale gas.
But they missed a number of deadlines for mapping out
details of the deal and said in separate statements that they
had now let it expire.
The source, who is close to one of the firms in the group,
said there would be no renewal of the arrangement.
Neither PGNiG, which led the joint project, nor any of the
other partners were immediately available for further comment.
The deal's expiration adds to a series of mixed signals from
the shale gas industry on its prospects in Poland, eastern
Europe's biggest economy.
Enthusiasm towards unconventional gas reserves in the
country faded earlier this year after three global players
decided to pull out, quoting poor results, red tape and an
uncertain legal landscape.
U.S. energy giant Chevron, however, joined forces
with PGNiG earlier in December on shale gas exploration in
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk attempted to revive hopes
for the sector by appointing a new environment minister in
November and setting him a goal of intensifying shale gas
Poland launched a major push into shale three years ago when
Tusk said the country would seek to produce unconventional gas
on a commercial scale in 2014.
The plan has suffered setbacks, however, as Poland's
estimated recoverable reserves were slashed by 90 percent.