Kamlesh Parmar, chairman of the Polish Exploration and Production Industry Organization (OPPPW) believes Poland's shale gas program is progressing too slowly with projects being delayed due to government red tape.
Parmar said exploration may not be complete until 2037 unless changes are made to administrative regulations surrounding the energy industry, Polskie Radio reported. He pointed out the clearance process for a shale project in Poland has taken almost a year for the Ministry of the Environment to offer approval. The United States is more efficient at approving shale gas projects, he said.
"Until today, 49 wells have been made in Poland, whereas in Pennsylvania thousands have been built over a few years," Parmar said. "We estimate that for a reliable assessment of shale gas resources in Poland some 287 wells are still needed. Unfortunately, at the present rate it could take until 2037."
Poland is looking to expand domestic shale gas production to reduce its reliance on gas imports from Russia, Polskie Radio reported. However, the U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated Poland's shale gas resources are about 148 trillion cubic feet, lower than the 187 tcf originally estimated.
Yet, Poland is home to part of the Baltic Basin, estimated to be one of the most promising shale gas reserves in Europe. The basin stretched from northern Poland to southwestern Lithuania and extended into Russia. Poland energy company Lotos said it was interested in exploring the Lithuanian portion of the shale formation, Reuters reported.