Chevron wants more dialogue on Poland shale gas rules

Tue Jul 9, 2013 11:34am EDT
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By Christian Lowe

WARSAW (Reuters) - Energy major Chevron (CVX.N: Quote) said on Tuesday it was committed to shale gas exploration in Poland though it wanted more consultation with the government on draft amendments to rules before they are adopted.

Three foreign firms - Exxon Mobil (XOM.N: Quote), Talisman TLM.TO and Marathon (MRO.N: Quote) - have pulled out of Polish shale gas, citing difficult geology and short-comings in the regulatory environment.

Industry lobby groups say the draft amendments to the hydrocarbons law, though better than previous versions, do not create the right conditions for firms to invest in Poland, which is seen by some in the industry as Europe's best shale gas hope.

John P. Claussen, Chevron's country manager for Poland, said the industry's dialogue with the government on the shale gas rules had been positive, but there were still issues with the draft to talk about. The environment ministry has submitted the draft to the cabinet for approval.

"We would like the opportunity to continue to have dialogue about some of the issues that are going forward in the bill," Claussen told Reuters in an interview.

"There has been good consultation between the ministry of environment and the industry and there is more opportunity for that," he said.

Claussen would not specify which areas of the draft his company wanted changed. Industry groups have said they want more assurances that they can convert exploration permits into production licenses if they hit gas, more time to explore if needed, and lighter penalties if they miss deadlines.


A Chevron gas station sign is seen in Del Mar, California, April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Blake