WARSAW, March 1 Poland plans to levy a
1.5-percent and a 3-percent tax on shale and conventional gas
exploration respectively, the Finance Ministry said in a
long-awaited detailed draft of the law regulating oil and gas
Poland had counted on an expected abundance of shale gas to
boost growth and reduce its reliance on Russian oil and gas.
But investors, already jolted by the government's
conservative revision of shale reserves estimates, have grown
concerned about its protracted work on a tax and regulation
regime announced in October.
The Environment Ministry, which had been expected for months
to unfold the tax regime, in February published just a
preliminary draft of new concession regulations and
environmental issues, but passed the draft on the Finance
The Finance Ministry has now repeated that taxes and levies
on gas and oil exploration will total about 40 percent of the
sector's profits from 2015, positioning Poland as a more
attractive investment than Norway, Great Britain and Austrlia.
Poland's Environment Minister Marcin Korolec told Reuters he
expected all the new regulations to be adopted in a few months,
hoping the new law would prompt investors to intensify their
work in Poland.
The taxes will apply to Polish companies such as PGNiG
, which owns most of the shale gas exploration licences,
refiners PKN Orlen and Lotos, as well as to
foreign players, including Chevron Corp and Marathon Oil
Poland had high hopes for shale after a study by the U.S.
Energy Information Association in 2011 estimated its reserves at
5.3 trillion cubic metres, enough to cover domestic demand for
some 300 years.
But estimated reserves were slashed to about a tenth of that
in a government report published in March last year.