Polish effort to incentivize renewable energy gets European approval

14 Dec 2017   Poland

An $11 billion Polish effort to support the development of renewable energy secured the nod from European regulators, a commissioner said. The Polish government is supporting a scheme to cut levies to finance the development of renewable energy in a nation that has few natural resources of its own. Margrethe Vestager, the European commissioner in charge of competition in the European Union, said the effort lines up with bloc-wide efforts to create a diverse and sustainable energy sector. “We want to make progress toward green energy for the sake of our environment but also for European economic growth,” she said in a statement . “The Polish support scheme will increase the share of green energy in Poland’s energy mix and help the country’s […]

Poland turns to fossil fuel soulmate Trump as coal output flags

16 Nov 2017   Poland

“Whenever you need energy, just give us a call,” U.S. President Donald Trump said on a visit to Poland in the summer. Now, with winter setting in, Warsaw is taking him up on the offer. Poland’s state coal trader Weglokoks is to due receive its first ever shipment of U.S. coal imminently and industry sources expect state or private buyers to take at least three more cargoes over the next seven months, even though Europe as a whole is shifting away from the most carbon-intensive energy source. With both countries led by fossil fuel advocates, the benefits are mutual. Poland has to meet a shortfall left by the failure of national mining giant PGG to achieve its production targets, […]

Poland says it could eventually do without Russian gas

9 Aug 2017   Poland

Poland is willing to keep buying natural gas from Russia if conditions are right, though its economy is moving in another direction, the foreign minister said. Poland relies on Russian energy company Gazprom for most of its natural gas shipments, though, like its European counterparts, it has tried to diversify its economy. A deal for shipments through a Russian natural gas pipeline expires in the next decade and Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said the contract will be extended if Russia offers a better price. “In five years, we will be at least less dependent on Russian gas, and maybe even independent of it,” he was quoted by Russian news […]

Trump to promote U.S. natgas exports in Russia’s backyard

4 Jul 2017   Poland, USA

President Donald Trump will use fast-growing supplies of U.S. natural gas as a political tool when he meets in Warsaw on Thursday with leaders of a dozen countries that are captive to Russia for their energy needs. In recent years, Moscow has cut off gas shipments during pricing disputes with neighboring countries in winter months. Exports from the United States would help reduce their dependence on Russia. Trump will tell the group that Washington wants to help allies by making it as easy as possible for U.S. companies to ship more liquefied natural gas (LNG) to central and eastern Europe, the White House said. Trump will attend the “Three Seas” summit – so named because several of its members surround the Adriatic, Baltic and […]

Poland welcomes U.S. natural gas but defends coal power

14 Jun 2017   Poland

The first shipment of American liquefied natural gas from Louisiana’s Cheniere Energy arrived in Poland on Wednesday, a feat hailed as an energy milestone in both Poland and Europe . Some U.S. commentators have even suggested that American suppliers could help end Polish dependence on Russia’s state oil company, Gazprom , which provides 59 percent of the country’s annual natural gas consumption. Poland’s government has said that it does not intend to renew its supply agreement with Gazprom when it lapses in 2022 . Planning to cut ties with its oil-rich neighbor is a challenging […]

US LNG cargoes arrive in Poland, Netherlands, first into northern Europe

9 Jun 2017   Poland

* Cargoes are first ever shipments into northern Europe * Dutch cargo seen as Statoil replacement, PGNiG’s spot deal * Not necessarily sign of wave of US LNG coming to Europe The first two US LNG cargoes to reach northern Europe have now landed in Poland and the Netherlands, marking a historic new chapter in the US LNG export sector that began with the first Lower 48 deliveries to world markets in February last year. The Clean Ocean and Arctic Discoverer, which both departed the Sabine Pass LNG export facility last month, arrived late Wednesday and early Thursday at Poland’s Swinoujscie port and the Dutch Gate terminal respectively, according to cFlow, Platts trade flow software. US LNG exports began in February last year, but before Wednesday no cargoes had landed in the liquid hubs of northwest Europe or elsewhere in northern Europe, faced with competition from domestic supply and […]

A first-ever for Poland in the way of U.S. natural gas

28 Apr 2017   Poland

A Polish energy company said Thursday it closed on a deal to take its first-ever shipment of liquefied natural gas sourced from reservoirs in the United States. Polish Oil & Gas, known by its acronym PGNiG, said its trading branch in London closed on a deal to accept LNG from Cheneire Energy, which owns a terminal in Louisiana that’s the only one with the permits necessary for current exports of U.S. natural gas. “Delivering this cargo from Cheniere to Poland demonstrates the continued demand for U.S. LNG and for Cheniere’s full-service model that includes the delivery of LNG directly to customers,” Cheniere President and CEO Jack Fusco said in a statement. A special permit is needed to send […]

Polish city more polluted than Beijing

2 Jan 2017   Poland

Surpassing Beijing would be an accolade for many cities. But for Skala in Poland, it was in a category not to be celebrated: air pollution.  With a staggering 33 out of Europe’s 50 most polluted cities, according to a World Health Organisation report this year, Poland is the continent’s capital of smog. It regularly surpasses EU limits on pollution owing to a heavy reliance on coal and a lack of government action on green technology.  This month, a pollution tracking agency in Skala in the country’s south detected air pollutants of 979 micrograms (one millionth of a gram) per cubic metre of air, far exceeding Beijing’s 737 and almost 20 times higher than EU limits. Public transport in the capital Warsaw was also made free one day this month for the first time due to poor air quality.  “For years Polish cities have been the most polluted, which makes Poland a disgraceful leader — the red spot on the map of Europe,” said Ewa Lutomska of Polski Alarm Smogowy, a pollution watchdog.  “The situation has not been changing as we lack relevant regulations which would efficiently limit emissions of dangerous substances,” said Ms Lutomska.

Poland Reaches End Of The Road For Shale Gas Prospects

14 Oct 2016   Poland

Shale gas fracking Poland’s race to explore shale gas is now over , after its state-run firm PGNiG and oil refiner PKN Orlen cancelled exploration projects there. Polish gas was expected to come to market in 2014, according to Former Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s announcement five years ago. International oil companies, including Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil, and Total flocked to the European country to assist in the search for gas, but they pulled back their efforts after disappointing results and the oil price crisis. The country’s national energy companies were the last to hold out for domestic shale gas projects, and now they, too, are throwing in the towel. “The discussion and projects related to shale gas is a closed issue for us,” Miroslaw Kochalski, deputy head of PKN Orlen told Reuters on Wednesday. Piotr Wozniak, the chief executive office at PGNiG, reiterated this sentiment by saying, “Shale gas […]

Gazprom reviewing Nord Stream 2 options

24 Aug 2016   Pipelines, Poland

 Amid antitrust concerns from Poland, a new financing model for the expansion of a gas pipeline to Europe could emerge by year’s end, Russia’s Gazprom said. Russian natural gas company Gazprom signed shareholder agreements on the development of the second phase of the twin Nord Stream pipeline system last year with its counterparts at German energy companies BASF and E.ON, as well as those from French company ENGIE, Austria’s OMV and Royal Dutch Shell. In early August, the Polish antitrust authority, known by its acronym UOKiK, ruled the project consortium would restrict competition in the Polish energy market. In response, the parties to the project pulled their application to form a company […]

Exclusive: Oil reshuffle in Poland – Urals out, Iran in

13 Aug 2016   Iran, Poland, Russia

A gas flare on an oil production platform is seen alongside an Iranian flag in the Gulf July 25, 2005. Poland is replacing Russian oil with Iranian oil and unsold Urals crude is being redirected to Asia, industry sources told Reuters. Trader Mercuria, once the largest seller of Urals in Poland, is closing down and emptying Russian oil out of its tanks in the port of Gdansk. Mercuria will use a tanker bringing in Iranian oil to transport out its unwanted Urals. Mercuria is sending more than 250,000 tonnes of Urals to Asia via super tanker Atlantas (VLCC), which will arrive in Gdansk with two million barrels of Iranian oil on board, said two industry sources familiar with Mercuria’s plan. A Mercuria spokesman told Reuters that the company was still interested in the Polish market and will continue working and developing its business there in the coming years. “Unloading […]

Gazprom Says US LNG Is No Panacea as Poland Shuns Russian Gas

1 Jun 2016   Poland

Poland will struggle to replace all the natural gas it gets from Russia’s Gazprom, including with US supplies, as it bids to lower dependence on its eastern neighbor, according to the Moscow-based company. (Bloomberg) – Poland will struggle to replace all the natural gas it gets from Russia’s Gazprom PJSC, including with U.S. supplies, as it bids to lower dependence on its eastern neighbor, according to the Moscow-based company. “Of course, everybody is free to choose how to purchase his gas and to ensure the competitiveness of his economy,” Gazprom Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Medvedev told reporters in Moscow Tuesday. “There is a well-known fairy-tale about an old woman who asked a golden fish to turn her into a Sea Empress but in the end she found herself back with her broken washtub in front of her,” he said, referring to a story by Alexander Pushkin. Poland, which […]

How Poland’s Crusade for Energy Autonomy Affects EU and Russia

23 Nov 2015   Poland, Russia

Poland’s new government seeks to shake up the nation’s power, gas and oil industries in the name of boosting energy security, with consequences for both dominant supplier Russia and the country’s partners in the European Union. While Prime Minister Beata Szydlo vowed last week to exploit coal and lignite deposits in the face of EU attempts to curb carbon emissions, tankers with Saudi and Kurdish crude sailed to Polish refineries reliant on Russian oil. Meanwhile, a Qatari tanker was loading its first liquefied natural gas shipment for a Polish terminal. Q: Will Poland Switch Russian Oil for Saudi? No, but the country of 38 million people, which buys about a 10th of Russian crude exports to the EU, can do more to diversify its supplies. Deliveries from the world’s biggest energy exporter account for more than 90 percent of Poland’s annual imports of 23.6 million tons of oil, according […]

Polish Refiner Turns to Saudi for Crude Amid Russian Dominance

23 Oct 2015   Poland

Poland’s top refiner PKN Orlen SA will take delivery of its first crude from Saudi Arabia next month, a shipment that could mark the start of new trade relationship undermining the traditional dominance of Russian supplies. “The delivery may result in longer cooperation,” Chief Executive Officer Jacek Krawiec said at a conference in Warsaw on Thursday. Orlen’s largest refinery in Plock, which can process 16.3 million metric tons of crude annually, and its 10.2 million-tons-year Lithuanian facility could both use Saudi crude. Orlen is considering buying oil from Saudi Arabia and Iran as it seeks better terms amid a global supply glut. The refiner, which buys more than 90 percent of its crude from Russia, is also looking to renew two mid-term contracts that end in December and January with OAO Rosneft and Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin questioned Saudi Arabia’s strategy of boosting output to […]

Europe welcomes Polish gas diversity efforts

18 Jul 2015   Poland

More than half of the gas projects slated for Polish government grants will connect to European markets and help diversify the sector, an EU commissioner said. The European Commission said Poland’s plans to grant nearly $830 million in grants to nine different gas projects are line with efforts to advance a “true energy union” by creating more connections to regional economies. Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s commissioner in charge of competition policy, said the grants were an encouraging testament of sensible public spending . “Interconnections enable energy flows between countries, improve cross-border connections and allow diversification of gas supply sources,” she said in a statement. Five of the nine gas projects set to receive Polish state assistance will connect to European gas networks […]

Conoco stops its shale gas exploration in Poland

6 Jun 2015   Poland

ConocoPhillips, the U.S. energy company, is withdrawing from shale gas exploration in Poland as it has not encountered commercial volumes of the gas, the company said on Friday. ConocoPhillips said its subsidiary Lane Energy Poland has invested around $220 million in Poland since 2009. It drilled seven wells over its three Western Baltic concessions. “Unfortunately, commercial volumes of natural gas were not encountered,” Tim Wallace, ConocoPhillips country manager in Poland, was quoted as saing in a statement. ConocoPhillips was the last major oil company looking for shale gas in Poland, after Chevron withdrawal at the start of this year. (Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by William Hardy)

Chevron to Abandon Shale Natural Gas Venture in Poland

31 Jan 2015   Poland

Chevron said on Friday that it would abandon efforts to find and produce natural gas from shale rock in Poland, in perhaps the biggest setback yet to fledgling efforts to start a European shale oil and gas industry that might help replace the region’s dwindling fuel resources. Shale development in the United States has been one of the reasons the American energy industry has experienced a renaissance in recent years — so much so that it has contributed to the global glut now depressing oil prices. But Europe, heavily reliant on imported fuel, has had trouble getting started with shale, for geological, environmental and political reasons. Chevron announced it was abandoning the Poland project the same day the company reported that its earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014 fell nearly 30 percent compared with a year earlier, to $3.5 billion. The company blamed lower oil prices […]

Polish shale still on international radar

1 Jan 2015   Poland

Reservoir analysis of a natural gas well in Poland was encouraging enough to start looking for potential work partners, shale player BNK Petroleum said. BNK Petroleum, which has headquarters in California, said Wednesday it was reviewing data from a reservoir model analysis for a Polish shale natural gas well dubbed Gapowo B-1H. “The company believes that the encouraging modeling results, strong natural gas prices in Europe, and the company’s large Polish acreage position will be attractive to joint venture partners with the capacity to advance this project,” it said in a statement. New drilling technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, dubbed fracking, are used in shale deposits to access oil and gas reserves previously out of reach. Those […]

Fracking Setback in Poland Dims Hope for Less Russian Gas

11 Oct 2014   Poland

Poland’s ambition to achieve energy independence from Russia is being undermined by drillers giving up on the nation’s shale wells after disappointing results. The highest test flows during the country’s five-year search for unconventional gas were just 30 percent of what’s needed for commercial production, said Pawel Poprawa, a geologist at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. The number of active shale permits has fallen 43 percent from a high in January 2013 and explorers probably won’t extend all those expiring this year, according to Slawomir Brodzinski , the nation’s deputy environment minister. 3Legs Resources Plc, the Isle of Man-based company that was the first foreign explorer to buy a license in the East European nation, said last month it’s leaving after poor results at Poland’s biggest fracking operation in the northeastern Baltic Basin. The “poorly understood” formation may hold more gas than Texas’s Barnett Shale, […]

Poland Resumes Gas Deliveries to Ukraine

12 Sep 2014   Poland, Ukraine

Poland resumed deliveries of natural gas to Ukraine on Friday, after supplies from Russian to Poland fell below ordered level earlier this week, the country’s gas network operator said. Poland’s state-controlled PGNiG SA said earlier this week that deliveries from Russia’s OAO Gazprom were 20-24% below increased order levels on Monday and Tuesday, and 45% below on Wednesday. Gazprom said it was delivering unchanged amounts of gas through Monday-Tuesday. PGNiG said it was compensating for the difference by increasing supplies from Germany and the Czech Republic. Before the halt of supplies to Ukraine, Poland supplied about 4 million cubic meters of gas a day to it neighbor, with most of it originating in Russia. Kiev was forced to import gas through Poland and Slovakia after Gazprom halted supplies to Ukraine amid a dispute over prices and unpaid bills. The dispute has been seen as part of […]

Russia tightens gas supplies to Poland

11 Sep 2014   Poland, Russia

Moscow has reduced its gas exports to Poland in an apparent attempt to prevent EU countries from re-exporting Russian gas as a lifeline to Ukraine. Russia halted its direct gas shipments to Ukraine in June amid a pricing dispute that has accompanied their broader conflict over Crimea and eastern Ukraine. The latest move by state-controlled Gazprom to crack down on re-exports represents a further tightening of Moscow’s noose around Kiev before a winter that could cripple its economy if it cannot secure sufficient energy supplies. More On this topic IN Europe Poland’s state gas group PGNiG said on Wednesday that Gazprom had delivered 20 per cent less gas on Monday and 24 per cent less gas on Tuesday than it was […]

Gazprom Limits Polish Gas Supplies as Reverse Flows Halt

11 Sep 2014   Poland, Russia

Russia’s OAO Gazprom limited natural gas flows to Poland , preventing the European Union member state from supplying Ukraine via so-called reverse flows. Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA, or PGNiG, got 20 to 24 percent less fuel than it ordered from Gazprom Export over the past two days and is compensating flows with alternative supply, the company said today in an e-mailed statement . Poland halted gas supply to Ukraine at 3 p.m. Warsaw time today, according to Ukraine’s UkrTransGaz. Ukraine is seeking to replace some of its Russian gas with fuel from Europe after Gazprom halted its supplies on June 16 in a dispute over debt and prices, echoing spats in 2006 and 2009 that left European customers short of fuel. Gazprom Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller said in June the company might limit supplies to gas-metering stations where it observed reverse flows. “It would appear from […]

The Time for Burning Coal Has Passed

27 Aug 2014   Coal, Poland

 “People have gathered here to tell their politicians that the way in which we used energy and our environment in the 19th and 20th centuries is now over,” says Radek Gawlik, one of Poland’s most experienced environmental activists. “The time for burning coal has passed and the sooner we understand this, the better it is for us.” Gawlik was one of over 7,500 people who joined an 8-kilometre-long human chain at the weekend linking the German village of Kerkwitz with the Polish village of Grabice to oppose […]

Polish shale developments going ‘smoothly’

16 Aug 2014   Poland

British energy company 3Leg Resources said Friday efforts to bring Polish shale natural gas into production are going “very smoothly.” The company said it put a well in the Lublewo research area in to a test phase to determine its potential to produce natural gas following a successful hydraulic fracturing program. Kamlesh Parmar, the company’s chief executive, said the well is a milestone for the exploration program in Poland . “The operations to bring the well into test production have gone very smoothly and we are delighted to see the well has flowed [natural gas] from the beginning,” he said in a statement. The European Investment Bank in June loaned Poland $132 million for the expansion of a pipeline that could bring gas, including domestically sourced liquefied natural gas, to the border of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. The EIB said the Polish gas project is “crucial” to […]

Polish oil and natural gas production rising

23 Jul 2014   Poland

| License Photo Oil and natural gas production in Poland increased during the second quarter of the year, state energy company PGNiG said in a Tuesday report. In an amended quarterly report , the state energy company said it produced roughly 2.2 million barrels of oil during the full second quarter of the year, a 33 percent increase year-on-year. For natural gas, the company said its second quarter production volume was nearly 40 billion cubic feet, a 3.7 percent increase over the same period last year. The European Investment Bank last month loaned Poland $132 million for the expansion of a pipeline that could bring gas, including domestically sourced liquefied natural gas, to the border of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine. The EIB said the Polish gas project is “crucial” to European energy security. Poland is thought to be rich in shale natural gas reserves. In April, PGNiG […]

Europe lends cash to Polish gas project

18 Jun 2014   Poland

The European Investment Bank said a Polish natural gas pipeline project will add a layer of diversity to the European gas corridor. EIB said it was lending $132 million to Polish natural gas transmission company Gaz-System for the expansion of a pipeline that could bring gas, including domestically sourced liquefied natural gas, to the border of the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine “This marks an important step towards better security of the energy supply in Europe,” Laszlo Baranyay, EIB vice president in charge of lending in Poland, said in a statement from Luxembourg . The EIB said the Polish gas project is “crucial” to European energy security . Dubbed the Lwowek-Odolanow gas pipeline, it will have a length of 100 miles once it’s completed in 2017. Russian energy company Gazprom said Monday it would send natural gas through Ukraine only if it was paid in advance. European consumers get […]

Tusk Taps Tough-Talking Miner to Wean Poland From Russia Energy

2 Jun 2014   Poland

Polish Premier Donald Tusk’s drive to break the ex-communist nation’s links to Russia ’s energy chain by modernizing the domestic coal industry is giving Miroslaw Taras sleepless nights. Tusk tapped Taras, a 59-year-old ex-miner whose leadership of publicly-traded Lubelski Wegiel Bogdanka SA made it profitable before he left in 2012, to do the same for state-owned rival, Kompania Weglowa SA. Kompania, Europe’s largest coalminer, is buried in debt and teeters on bankruptcy at a time when the dispute between Russia and Ukraine risks disrupting the 89 billion cubic meters of gas shipped annually from OAO Gazprom (GAZP) through Ukraine, or 55 percent of its total exports to Europe. Tusk is betting Taras’s ability to fix Kompania and streamline its bloated workforce without slashing jobs will cushion energy shocks from the east. “I feel damn responsible for all these people and each one individually,” Taras said in an interview on […]

Poland referred to EU court for violating environmental rules

The European Commission said Wednesday it referred Poland to a regional court of justice for violating rules on greenhouse gases. “The European Commission has decided to refer Poland to the EU Court of Justice for failing to notify to the Commission what penalties have been put in place in case the EU rules for companies and personnel undertaking certain activities with fluorinated gases are not observed,” the commission said in a statement . European law requires companies to take steps to reduce the amount of fluorinated gases, a harmful pollutant, leaked into the atmosphere. The European Commission said it sent a request to Poland to address the issue in November. The ruling follows a series of scathing reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warning that global climate change is out of control. The European Commission said action to curb the release of […]

Polish shale gas future bright for BNK Petroleum

25 Feb 2014   Poland

BNK Petroleum President Wolf Regener said Tuesday he was “very excited” about the results from a Polish shale natural gas operation. BNK, which has headquarters in California, said the 285,000 acres it controls in Poland have “good potential to produce natural gas.” It said Tuesday exploratory drilling results in the Gapowo B-1 well were positive and the company was anticipating a production test later this year. “In Poland, I am very excited that we have confirmed our original discovery in the Gapowo B-1 vertical well,” Regener said in a statement. The company said a separate 285,000 acres has the potential to produce natural gas, but has a “higher associated risk.” New drilling technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, dubbed fracking, are used in shale deposits to access oil and gas reserves previously out of reach. That helped put the United States in […]

Poland to Accelerate Work on Setting Regulations for Shale Gas Industry

6 Feb 2014   Poland, Shale Oil

Poland will speed up work on setting regulations for its nascent shale gas industry, officials said Wednesday after a London-listed operator hit reserves it described last month as being potentially commercially viable. Poland is one of the most promising exploration sites for shale gas in the European Union, with enough estimated reserves to allow for decades of consumption. So far only some 50 wells have been drilled, with mixed results and too few to evaluate Poland’s shale gas potential more precisely than in initial estimates. According to a report from the Polish Geological Institute in March 2012, the country has reserves of between 346 billion and 768 billion cubic meters of recoverable shale gas. Poland’s Environment Minister Maciej Grabowski said Wednesday he expects to see some 30 new shale gas drillings carried out this year as the government puts its new, more business-friendly regulations on a fast track. The […]

BNK Petroleum upbeat about Polish shale

17 Jan 2014   Poland

BNK Petroleum, which has headquarters in California, said it was upbeat about the shale potential in Poland following the start of a drilling campaign. BNK said it started a horizontal drilling program at Polish shale well Gapowo B-1 and expects to spend the next 30 days on the operation. The company said it was targeting gas deposits encountered in similar operations, where “the average and maximum total gas readings were much higher than those seen in the company’s other Baltic Basin wells.” New drilling technologies like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, dubbed fracking, are used in shale deposits to access oil and gas reserves previously out of reach. That helped put the United States in a leadership position in terms of production of those resources. Poland is one of the Eastern European countries thought to be rich in shale gas, though the U.S. […]

Polish shale gas may be too hard to exploit

16 Jan 2014   Poland, Shale Gas

The geological characteristics in Poland means it may be hard for energy companies to duplicate the shale gas success in the United States, an analyst said. New drilling technologies used for shale deposits have given energy companies access to oil and gas reserves previously out of reach, putting the United States in a leadership position in terms of production of those resources. Paul Stevens, an oil analyst at London think tank Chatham House, told the New York Times it may be tough to replicate that success in Poland. “The geology has not worked out,” he was quoted as saying Tuesday. Chevron, which has headquarters in California, is one of the few energy companies still exploring the shale reserve potential in Poland. Marathon Oil, which has headquarters in Texas, gave up on its Polish shale ambitions in 2012 and Italian energy company Eni is said […]

Polish auditors slam government for slow pace of shale gas development

15 Jan 2014   Poland, Shale Gas

Poland’s national auditing agency this week criticized the slow place of developing the country’s shale gas industry, blaming government inefficiency. The Supreme Audit Office, or NIK, Monday issued a report warning that high hopes for establishing shale gas as a viable Polish industry by 2015 are being imperiled by “irregularities” in awarding concessions and the painfully slow establishment of a law governing the sector, Polish Radio reported. In the meantime, several foreign energy firms that came into Poland seeking to tap its shale gas potential, such as Exxon Mobil, Marathon Oil and Talisman Energy, have pulled out due to mixed exploration results and the uncertain regulatory landscape. At the current rate, it will take 12 years before Poland’s shale gas potential can be properly tapped, the NIK said. “In order to carry this out, it would be desirable to have about 200 wells,” […]

Poland’s PGE OKs $3.78 billion expansion of Opole coal-fired plant

10 Jan 2014   Coal, Poland

Construction will begin next month on 1,800 megawatts of new coal-fired generating capacity at Poland’s Opole Power Plant, owner PGE announced this week. A statement released Thursday by the state-owned power producer said its management board had approved a program of internal financing to build two 900-megawatt generators in a $3.78 billion expansion of the Opole plant, to be designed by the French multinational Alstom. The move came two months after PGE’s former chief executive, Krzysztof Kilian, quit his job heading Poland’s biggest utility amid reports the company was being politically pressured to proceed with the expansion despite rejecting it in April as unprofitable. Now led by Marek Woszczyk, the company now says the financing will allow construction to begin as scheduled Feb. 1, with the first unit to be completed in 4 1/2 years and the second less than year later. In […]

Is This the Next Major Shale Gas Producer?

17 Dec 2013   Poland, Shale Gas

 I’m talking about Poland.  In an attempt to broaden its energy portfolio and wean itself off Russian natural gas, a renewed push for shale development is kicking off. As of last month, new Polish Environment Minister Maciej Grabowski has made it a personal mission to turn Poland around and remove the red tape that previously pushed out some of the biggest names in the industry.  The reversal of high coal consumption will also be at the top of the agenda. shale gas 19 In his first news conference early this month, he said, “If I decide that amendments are needed, I intend to present a final version within weeks, not months,” according to Bloomberg. He added, “Investors have been waiting for this for a very long time and they […]

Chevron agrees to explore Polish shale gas potential

14 Dec 2013   Poland, Shale Gas

 PGNiG, a Polish state-owned energy company, said it reached a deal with a Chevron subsidiary to explore for shale natural gas in southeastern Poland. State-owned Polish Petroleum and Gas Mining, known by its Polish initials PGNiG, said the deal was signed in Warsaw with Chevron Polish Energy Resources. PGNiG President Jerzy Kurella said both sides would benefit by sharing the exploration risks, including the possible costs associated with development of the shale gas reserves in southeastern Poland. “We could benefit from the experience of Chevron in the exploration and production of shale gas around the world,” he said in a statement Thursday. Chevron said if the exploration effort proves successful, both sides would form a joint venture for further operations in the license areas. Neither company offered an estimate of the reserve potential in the license areas. The Polish government estimates it has […]

Poland Eyes Shale-Gas Boom

28 Nov 2013   Poland, Shale Gas

Poland is planning to speed up its search for shale gas to reduce its dependence on its former overlord, Russia, following the departure of several major U.S. companies from Polish gas fields. Poland is one of the most promising exploration sites for shale gas in the European Union, with enough estimated reserves to allow for decades of production. But so far only several dozen wells have been drilled, with mixed results. The process won’t be without its challenges, though. The country faces stiff opposition from environmental groups that say the hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” of rock formations releases methane, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere and may pollute water tables. Similar opposition in France led the country’s constitutional court to ban the process in October. Germany also looks set to shelve its plans for shale gas as its center-right and center-left parties work on a compromise agenda for their […]

Poland, Wedded to Coal, Spurns Europe on Clean Energy Targets

BELCHATOW, Poland — They call it Poland’s biggest hole in the ground. The coal mine here is more than eight-and-a-half miles long, nearly two miles wide and as deep in parts as three football fields. Enough coal comes out of it to fuel Europe’s largest coal-fired utility plant, whose chimneys loom in the distance. “The entire world population could fit in this hole,” Tomasz Tarnowski, an administrator here, said in a bit of proud hyperbole as he led a group of reporters on a walk near a towering mound of brown coal about halfway into the mine. Poland is Europe’s coal colossus. More than 88 percent of its electricity comes from coal. Belchatow is one of its huge sources and the largest carbon emitter in Europe. (There’s no “belch” in Belchatow — it is pronounced bel-HOT-oof.) This month, a United Nations conference on climate change will be held in […]