Following the lead of neighboring Poland, where shale gas exploration is already under way, foreign and local companies have applied for exploration permits in the Czech Republic.
Current applicants for the exploration permits include Basgas Energia Czech, a unit of the Australian-based exploration company Basgas and the Czech unit of British company Cuadrilla Morava, along with domestic oil and gas company Moravske Naftove Doly, Hospodarske Noviny newspaper reported.
Local Cuadrilla representative Stanislav Benada expects to hear from the Czech authorities about the applications in the autumn, but added that discussions with environmental officials regarding other possible exploration areas near the capital Prague indicated substantial resistance, commenting, "We are prepared to work with local authorities and hold meetings to explain the extraction process" before concluding that as yet no exploratory drilling has been approved and commenced, no one currently had an idea what shale gas reserves might be exploitable in the Czech Republic.
The Environment Ministry expanded on Beneda’s observation, telling the media, "In the Czech Republic until now there has been no consideration of extracting natural gas from shale stone, and reserves of this type have not been found (or systematically searched for) or technically and economically evaluated."
By. Joao Peixe, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com