Yesterday, the lower house of the Polish Parliament passed a bill regarding the extraction of shale gas. The Bill simplifies the licensing procedures for companies seeking and extracting the fuel. The Government believes that the new law will accelerate work on the exploration and extraction of shale gas.
The new regulations stipulate that geophysical surveys can be conducted on the basis of an application, without having to apply for a full license. The amendment also introduces one license to replace the need for several licenses required previously. A single license will be issued for exploration and extraction work. Entities that already hold licenses will retain their rights. The requirement for carrying out long and complicated environmental procedures was moved from the beginning of work to the final phase before extraction.
The new law will open the doors to tenders for exploration and extraction licenses for qualified operators. It will also require investors to provide securities in the event of exploration not taking place to prevent them from blocking access to the resources. The exploration charges to be levied in 2016 were increased four-fold.
Parliament rejected amendments proposed by the opposition which included the restoration of the two-year deadline to exercise the right of priority exploration and the requirement to submit geological samples within 36 hours of collection. Companies will now have 14 days to send geological samples.
The Bill has now moved to the upper house of Parliament.
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