Defence Policy

PGI Confirms The Shale Gas Estimates Referring To Poland. The Gas Is Being Extracted Already.

Polish Geological Institute confirmed, during a seminar organized yesterday, that size of the shale gas deposits, estimated with the use of the drilling conducted so far, is close to 346 – 768 billion cubic meters (so the quantity is close to the one indicated in a report issued back in 2012). Unconventional gas is being extracted from the test drilled holes (on average 11 - 15 thousand cubic meters per day per wellbore), however, with the current crude oil prices, these quantities are too small for the Western energy sector to use.

Professor Grzegorz Pienkowski of the Polish Geological Institute, informed that 71 of the drilling operations carried out so far confirm the estimates related to the shale gas deposits, as defined in a report from 2012. Getting more accurate data would be possible, once 200 wells exist.

“Even though the scope of the drilling activities is the most significant in Europe, within the territory of Poland, we shall remember that hundreds of thousands of boreholes exist in the United States” - as Prof. Pienkowski stated.

At the moment, the average gas production, realized with the test wells, is close to 11-15 cubic meters per day – as the Polish Geological Institute reports. This quantity is three times too low to make the project profitable for the foreign companies. The situation in case of the local companies is a bit different – in case of them, such volume is sufficient.

Professor Pienkowski also noted that the current information policy, concerning the shale gas is unbalanced. “If we placed the US deposits over the European ones, then we may come to a conclusion that the reality in which we exist is completely different. The situation is similar in case of the detailed parameters. The American success is not the best point of reference, when we are describing the situation in Poland” - as it was summed up by the researcher.

According to Pienkowski, it is worth to note the similarities between the Polish and Chinese shale gas sectors, of course, taking all of the proportions into account: “China is ahead of the United States of America, when it comes to the natural resources, however their deposits are very similar to the ones in Poland. For example, in the Siuchan Basin, the Chinese are trying to get rid of problems which are very similar to the ones in Poland”.

Beijing’s approach towards the shale gas is – when it comes to the assumptions – very similar to the one that is being pursued in Poland. “In China, the most important issue stems from the energy independence paradigm, thus the Chinese are ready to invest in the shale gas initiatives, and they are doing so. In case of the United States of America, the market reality constitutes a priority” - as it was stated by Pienkowski.

According to Pienkowski, in the future, shale gas drilling in Poland may reach the level of even several billion cubic meters per annum. 

Piotr Maciążek, Jakub Kajmowicz

See also: Gazprom Attacks The Polish Shale Gas, On The Eve Of Deposit Estimations