Corruption Cited in Granting of Polish Shale Gas Concessions
Poland's Internal Security Agency (Agencja Bezpieczenstwa Wewnetrznego or ABW) has detained seven individuals in connection with alleged corruption in the awarding of shale gas licenses.
According to the ABW and Public Prosecutor`s Office, the detainees are three officials from the Department of Concessions in the Ministry of Environment, three persons realated to companies holding licences for shale gas exploration and an employee from the Polish Geological Institute.
Polish press sources including wyborcza.biz and PAP, indicated that goverment officials included the Director of the Department of Geology and Geological Concessions of the Ministry of Environment and three employees of the company Silurian Petrolinvest.
Deputy prosecutor Waldemar Tyl says that the alleged corruption case concerns the period from 2009 to 2011, and relates to approximately a dozen licenses.
Representatives from both institutions declined to go into any further detail.
Since 2007, Poland has issued over one hundred shale gas exploration concessions on an untendered, first-come, first-served basis.
Last week, Poland's new Deputy Minister of Environment who oversees the Department of Concessions stated that going forward, revised Polish law will require obligatory bidding for licenses.
Unless special exemptions are set, from the 1st of January exploration concessions must be subject to a compulsory tender process.