Shaken plans: Exxon Mobil drops Polish shale gas exploration

Exxon Mobil
Exxon Mobil has decided to quit shale gas exploration in Poland after only discovering two gas wells which failed to provide enough gas for commercial production. The decision ruined Poland’s hopes for a shale gas boom.

"We have completed exploration operations in Poland," Exxon spokesman Patrick McGinn said. "There have been no demonstrated sustained commercial hydrocarbon flow rates in our two wells in the Lublin and Podlasie basins."

Earlier Exxon Mobil dropped a $75 million shale gas exploration project in Hungary as only moderate gas reserves were discovered.
Poland has been considered to hold Europe’s largest shale gas reserves, potentially turning the country into net gas exporter. The US Energy Information Administration previously estimated Polish shale reserves at 5.3 trillion cubic meters (bcm).

In March a government study revealed the country's is likely to contain 346–768 billion bcm. These reserves could at least help Poland to decrease gas dependency from Russia which exports about two thirds of the 14 billion bcm consumed by the Poles each year.

Meanwhile in October oil-and-gas explorer BNK Petroleum Inc. reported disappointing results of a well drilled in the Cambrian and Ordovician shale in north Poland, putting testing in another area on ice.

However, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil. which all have exploration licenses in Poland, confirmed they are staying and are committed to their projects. Poland has granted 112 shale exploration licensees to international firms, though some EU countries, such as France, Romania and Bulgaria, have banned shale exploration due to the environmental issues.

The country’s government is preparing draft legislation for development of shale gas resources, expecting to start natural gas production in late 2014