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Poland Reaches End Of The Road For Shale Gas Prospects

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 has ended not that badly when it comes to the improved techniques of unconventional gas exploration. Shale gas as such has failed indeed."

Poland’s ventures in fracking made an appearance in the latest Wikileaks dump, sorted by The Intercept.

The leaks “reveal the [State] Department's role in bringing foreign dignitaries to a fracking site in Pennsylvania and its plans to make Poland a 'laboratory' for testing whether US success in developing shale gas can be repeated in a different country, particularly in Europe.”

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As Oilprice noted earlier this week, there was also the work done in Bulgaria following a government-imposed moratorium on the practice. Months of high-level diplomatic work and headlines such as “Fracking will lead to fivefold drop in the price of gas” contributed to the easing of the ban.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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