Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/09/2014 -- Although we still expect shale gas to start contributing to Poland's gas output from 2019, below-ground and above-ground challenges in shale gas extraction have led us to downgrade our forecasts of the rate of gas production growth in Poland. The future of its shale gas production within the decade will also be highly dependent on the industry's reception and assessment of the risks and rewards offered by a pending shale gas law that is being drafted at the time of writing.
The main trends and developments we highlight for Poland's oil and gas sector are:
- Undeterred by the Polish Geological Institute (PGI)'s downward revision of its recoverable shale gas estimates - to 0.346-0.768trn cubic metres (tcm) - Poland is sticking to Prime Minister Donald Tusk's late 2014/early 2015 schedule for the commercial production of shale gas. However, we believe that the commercial production of shale gas in unlikely to occur before 2019, as Poland's significant belowground challenges to shale gas extraction are made known from early exploration efforts. While shale gas exploration thus far has presented a mixed picture, there has been encouraging signs from shale gas exploration in the past few months, from Lane Energy's Lebien LE-2H well in Northern Poland and San Leon Energy's Lewino-1G2 well, where the highest hydraulic fracture pump rate outside of the US was recorded.
- However, we maintain that the 2015 targeted date is an overly optimistic projection. The exit from Poland of important players such as ExxonMobil, Marathon Oil and Talisman Energy due to disappointing results, the mixed exploratory results and the uncertain regulatory regime to date will likely push back the commencement of large-scale commercial production. We therefore remain cautiously optimistic with regards to Poland's shale gas prospects and expect shale gas to have a real impact on total output from 2019 onwards.
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