Poland: Not the "New Norway" Yet
The prospects for large scale development of shale gas in Europe were tempered today with the release of official figures on recoverable reserves in Poland.
A Polish government report showed recoverable reserves at between 346 billion and 768 billion cubic meters.
The Polish Geological Institute prepared the report in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey, which was based on archival data taken from 39 wells drilled for research and exploration and drew an anology between Poland's geology and gas producing areas in the United States.
While the new estimate would satisfy domestic gas requirements for upwards of seven decades, the figures are a dramatic reduction from an estimated 5.3 trillion cubic meters originally provided by the Energy Information Administration, which sparked discussion of Poland becoming the “new Norway.”
"These confirmed reserves of shale gas guarantee Poland's energy security for decades to come," commented Deputy Environment Minister Piotr Wozniak.
Wozniak stressed that the new figures were preliminary and that total recoverable reserves could reach 1.9 trillion cubic meters when results are received from wells currently being drilled.
However, the present figures likely brings to a close Poland’s hopes of being a significant gas exporter - at least for the near future.