Poland strengthens ties with China as shale pace slows

Poland China flags
Source: DollarPhotoClub

Poland and China moved closer to signing a memorandum of cooperation to facilitate collaboration on shale development when a five-person delegation from the Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources visited Poland this month.

The delegation, headed by the Deputy Minister Wang Min, visited Poland at the invitation of the Minister of the Environment. During their two-day visit, the guests – accompanied by Slawomir Brodzinski, the Chief National Geologist and Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Environment, and Zbigniew Skrzypkiewicz, Vice President of PGNiG – learned about Poland’s experiences with unconventional hydrocarbon exploration.

During a meeting with the Environment Minister Maciej Grabowski, the Chinese official had the opportunity to discuss the progress of Chinese shale exploration as well as Polish regulations concerning unconventional hydrocarbons. They also familiarised themselves with the results of studies on the impact of exploration and appraisal of shale gas on the environment, carried out on behalf of the General Directorate of Environmental Protection.

The pace of shale exploration in Poland has slowed down considerably in the recent month – another victim of the falling commodity prices. The current number of shale licences has fallen to 36 with 70 wells being drilled and 29 of them hydraulically fractured. One well is currently in progress with another two planned for later this year. One additional concession has been issued for the exploration of tight gas.

Mr Brodzinski acknowledged that the current number of drilled wells is low, but pointed out that this figure still puts the country in pole position when it comes to shale exploration in the European Union. If the exploration work continues, he said, Poland will be able to reap their rewards once oil prices rise again.

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