The shale gas revolution in Poland is progressing fast. A British company, co-operating with US energy giant ConocoPhillips expects to start pumping Polish shale gas within two years:
The prospects for shale natural gas production in Poland took a positive step this week when a British firm said it completed the country's first horizontal gas well.
Peter Clutterbuck, chief executive of 3Legs Resources, announced Tuesday the horizontal well at Lebien -- believed to be the first in Poland's Baltic Basin shale gas field -- was drilled and cased at a depth of 13,385 feet in the "organic-rich lower Paleozoic shales."
The effort, Clutterbuck said in a company release, "encountered high gas saturations throughout the horizontal section" and will be followed by a "stimulation program" and further tests in the third quarter.
The development of horizontal drilling has been a key in tapping the potential of "unconventional gas" as a viable power source. Once drilled, the wells need to be "stimulated" to produce gas by fracturing the dense shale deposits, usually accomplished by pumping in a water-sand mixture.
"We are very encouraged by the excellent gas shows encountered while drilling this horizontal well and we look forward to the results of the well stimulation and test program later this year," Clutterbuck said.
3Legs, which is working with U.S. energy giant ConocoPhillips to cover the costs of its Baltic Basin exploration program, conducted a $101 million initial public offering this month on London's Alternative Investment Market. Its pitch was its access to 1 million acres of prime shale gas land in northern Poland.
Clutterbuck has said he expects to be able begin pumping such gas within two years.
The fact his company was able to quickly raise that amount of cash in a generally lackluster IPO market indicates investors are excited about the viability of European unconventional gas production.
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The Poles, who are soon about to take over the EU Presidency are now in a unique situation to promote their own - and the entire EU´s - energy interests by pushing hard in favour of shale gas. They must not let the climate-industrial lobby, working together with Russia´s Gazprom and a number of enviro-fundamentalist NGO´s, destroy the the best thing that has happened in the European energy sector since oil drilling began in the North Sea.