The Polish Environment Ministry says it has authorized U.S. oil company Chevron to explore natural gas (shale gas) deposits in eastern Poland. The license was granted for five years and enables Chevron to carry out seismic study and exploratory drilling up to 3,500 meters underground. The license covers 800 square kilometers in southeastern Poland. No financial details were released.
In the last two years, the Poland has granted 30 such concessions in Poland, to companies such as ExxonMobil, Lane Energy and Marathon Oil. Shale gas has fundamentally changed the natural gas market in North America, and a similar paradigm shift in Europe would be a welcome change for those countries that have depended on Russia for their natural gas supply.
Russia has downplayed the potential impact of shale gas discoveries in European countries, an expected response. But not only would alternative suppliers diminish Russia’s influence in the region, an increased supply of natural gas in Europe could have the same impact that shale gas has had in North America, whereby prices have traded in a lower range for a number of years which will impact Russia’s revenues.
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Firm Chevron Gets Gas Exploration License In Poland