Polish firms concede defeat in search for shale gas riches

WARSAW, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Poland’s drive to exploit shale gas has come to an end with state-run gas firm PGNiG and oil refiner PKN Orlen drawing a line under projects to find it.

The country’s quest to explore for shale gas began five years ago, when the then prime minister Donald Tusk raised hopes with a forecast of it coming on stream in 2014.

This attracted global energy majors, including Chevron Corp, Exxon Mobil and Total, but one by one they pulled back after disappointing results and a slump in oil prices.

Polish state-run firms, including PGNiG and PKN Orlen were the last ones to work on the country’s shale gas projects.

“The discussion and projects related to shale gas is a closed issue for us,” Miroslaw Kochalski, deputy head of PKN Orlen told a news conference on Wednesday.

This was echoed by Piotr Wozniak, the chief executive office at PGNiG, who said:

“Shale gas has ended not that badly when it comes to the improved techniques of unconventional gas exploration. Shale gas as such has failed indeed.” (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Alexander Smith)