Big oil companies won't pursue Polish shale

May 9, 2013 at 6:12 AM
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WARSAW, Poland, May 9 (UPI) -- International oil companies don't have the patience to explore for shale natural gas in frontier territory like Poland's, an executive said.

John Buggenhagen, director of Irish energy company San Leon, said his company was moving into Polish shale after Marathon Oil Corp. and Talisman Energy Inc. said they were abandoning the area.

"I don't think the majors have the mind-set and the patience to explore and prove these types of plays," he told Bloomberg News. "We can now begin to move forward to prove this play."

Marathon followed Talisman out of the area after it said had a change in strategy. San Leon will serve as the operator of three licenses in Poland's Dutch basin.

Difficult permitting terms and tax policies in Poland were contributing factors in the fewer exploration wells completed last year.

A Polish energy trade group said last year that tax regulations proposed for the upstream industry may cause investors to shy away from potential gas reserves.

The Polish government estimates it has as much as 3.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine are among the Eastern European countries eyeing potential shale gas reserves.

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