Chinese and Polish scientists to collaborate on shale development

Petrochina - Gas rig in China
Source: Petrochina

A memorandum of cooperation is expected to be signed in the space of a couple of months between Poland and China to facilitate collaboration on shale development – Polish gas portal reported.

The Deputy Minister of Environment and Poland’s Chief Geologist, Slawomir Brodzinski, said that last week Poland was the host to a Chinese delegation of representatives of the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources, chaired by the Deputy Minister Wang Mina. A year earlier Brodzinski was invited to China to take a look at the implementation of shale projects in the country.

“The Chinese side suggested signing a memorandum of cooperation – a suggestion that was welcomed by the Environment Minister Maciej Grabowski. We are currently in the process of drafting the agreement, which we would like to sign within the next couple of months. One of the aspects of the cooperation would be collaboration on shale gas,” he explained.

According to China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, Sinopec and China National Petroleum Corporation’s (CNPC) PetroChina are on schedule to reach 600 MMcf/d of shale gas production by the end of 2015. CNPC has drilled 125 shale wells, bringing 74 of them into production, and is on schedule to produce 250 MMcf/d of shale gas by the end of this year. Sinopec has a commercial-scale effort underway at the Fuling shale gas field in the Sichuan Basin, currently producing 130 MMcf/d. By the end of 2014, Sinopec completed 75 test wells at the Fuling field, with plans to drill an additional 253 wells.

Poland’s achievements seem far less impressive by comparison. So far Poland has spent 2.5 billion zloty on drilling 70 wells, but failing to achieve commercial flows of gas. But, as Mr Brodzinski pointed out, this still puts Poland at the forefront of shale exploring companies within the EU – followed by the UK, where only 6-8 wells have been drilled.

“The Polish side is particularly interested in exchanging experiences when it comes to exploring shale gas in similar conditions (to the Polish ones) with regard to the depth of the deposits. The Chinese, on the other hand, have put an increasing emphasis on environmental issues and are therefore interested in Poland’s stringent environmental regulations resulting from our membership in the European Union,” Mr Brodzinski explained.

Polish officials have passed on to the Chinese a report prepared by the General Office of Environmental Protection regarding the impact of hydraulic fracturing on the environment, which has shown that fracking does not produce significant adverse environmental effects.

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