New government initiative to kick-start Polish shale exploration

Oil rigs against an orange sky
Source: DollarPhotoClub

One reason for the slow pace of shale gas exploration in Poland are the technological barriers. To overcome these problems the government has prepared a programme whose goal is to develop new technologies for extracting shale that is adapted to Polish realities.

The “Blue Gas” programme is a joint undertaking of the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR) and the Industrial Development Agency (ARP S.A.). The aim of the programme is the commercialisation of innovative technological solutions in the field of prospecting and exploitation of the shale gas.

At the end of September 2012 the National Centre of Research and Development announced a call for proposals concerning the implementation of 12 projects. Scientific consortia with the participation of businesses interested in the investment in research and development activities were invited to take part in the process.

In response to the invitation, the representatives of three Polish energy companies along with four scientific centres from the regions where national natural gas and oil deposits occur entered into discussions. Finally, the following organisations joined the Consortium entitled “Polish Technologies for the Shale Gas”:

  • ORLEN Upstream,
  • PGNiG SA,
  • Lotos SA,
  • the AGH University of Science and Technology,
  • the Oil and Gas Institute,
  • the Gdańsk University of Technology and
  • the Warsaw University of Technology.

Partners decided to co-operate in the adaptation of the designed technological solutions to Polish geological, environmental and economic conditions.

This is an important step towards establishing a forum for the exchange of the scientific and research thought, providing access to research outcomes, as well as enabling the development of solutions unique to the Polish unconventional deposits that have not been examined yet.

The Consortium participants will face three key research areas:

  • analysing the technologies of hydrocarbon deposit exploration and prospecting that are currently used,
  • gas management and production methods as well as
  • undertaking issues related with environmental protection and waste management.

The contract that was signed provides for joint filing of applications for the subsidies and implementation of projects approved by the National Centre for Research and Development for three years. The contract also defines the substantive scope of the participation of individual Consortium partners as well as their rights to jointly developed technologies.

Sources: The National Centre For Research and Development, PKN Orlen.

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