The Polish Government is willing to pierce its territory in search of what it calls “national energy independence and security.” Therefore it has introduced a bill that provides to simplify, and thus accelerate, administrative procedures to develop the fracking industry, the hydraulic fracturing to extract potential shale gas.
The risky decision to develop fracking has environmental consequences. A few months agowe already reportedthat in Spain the gas sector, however, seems to be more supportive. Noteworthy is the money from the polish public purse that will de devoted to the exploration of shale gas in the depths of its territory. Treasury Minister, Wlodzimierz Karpinski, reported that public companies will invest at least 1,180 million euro in the shale gas exploration before the end of 2016.
Energy Independence and Security
Undoubtedly Poland is the most advanced country and clearly more willing to open their land to the development of fracking. To date, the national energy policy has been historically based on coal due to the wealth of the country in this resource. In 2011, 85.5% of electricity production originated from coal according to the Energy Market Agency. However, it is highly polluting and increasingly constrained by the European Union environmental regulations and in turn, has is highly dependent on Russian oil and gas.
Last 27th August, Karpinski stated before the Parliament that one of the Executive’s priorities is national energy independence and security, a key element for Poland to make the best use of its resources, as reported by Platts, the information portal specializing in the energy sector.
The objective is to enhance the “search for our own raw materials and make maximum use of national resources,” says the minister. Therefore, “we want to assert this opportunity to advance our energy independence, which in Poland can arise from our shale gas reserves.”
The Poles, in favor of renewable
With the conflict in Ukraine as background, last August, the Polish Institute of International Affairsconducted a survey among the country’s citizens about their preferences for energy development.
When asked what energy technologies must be developed in Poland, 58% of respondents opted for renewables; 48% for nuclear energy; 21%, for the extraction of shale gas; 16% prefer reducing energy consumption; and 8%, to improve the effectiveness of coal power plants.
The reliance on coal, unsustainable in the long term, makes respondents also show a preference on diversifying energy sources.
The Government has drafted and submitted to Parliament a draft law that envisages to speed-up and simplify administrative procedures for upstream activities (exploration, production and exploitation of these unconventional hydrocarbons). To date, domestic operators and foreign firms have drilled on the whole 65 wells since mid-2010.
In this context, companies participated by the state will invest a sum not less than 5,000 million zlotys (about 1,180 million euro) in the exploration of unconventional natural resources until 2016, emphasizes Polish News Bulletin.
Currently, PGNiG (state owned company dedicated, among other activities, to the exploration and production of natural gas and oil) and PKN Orlen (a corporation controlled by the public sector specializing in oil refining and marketing of oil products), lead the exploration of shale gas in the country, one of the most advanced in the European scene.