Work together better, shale gas investors tell Polish companies

Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:06am EDT
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* Sharing results could speed results

* No evidence yet of vast recoverable reserves

* Poland's firms say open for cooperation

By Agnieszka Barteczko

WARSAW, March 27 (Reuters) - Foreign investors in Poland's shale gas sector need better cooperation from local firms to improve drilling results and to make strides in tapping unconventional gas supplies, companies and state geologists said.

Poland sees its potential shale gas resources as a way to reduce the European Union's member reliance on Russian supplies but test wells that so far have shown no evidence of large recoverable reserves have dented initial hopes.

This makes it critical for state-controlled firms to better share information with foreign investors to quickly determine where it will be profitable to continue exploring for shale, officials from a number of exploration companies said.

With an uncertain legal framework offering another challenge, companies and geologists say improving the working relationship with local firms is the best way to keep more foreign investors from pulling up stakes as U.S. major Exxon Mobil did in 2012.

"A shale gas concession has its limits and if certain geological trends are observed in one area then it is worth consulting with the company, which owns the neighbouring licence," said Jerzy Nawrocki, head of the Polish Geological Institute, which is supervised by the environment ministry.   Continued...