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ExxonMobil fracking second Poland well

ExxonMobil will start hydraulic fracturing (fracking) at its second shale-gas well in Poland next week

Jim Johnson, an ExxonMobil board member, told an unconventional gas conference in Krakow that the supermajor has finished fracking its Krupe 1 well and will be ready to start on its Siennica 1 well, near the town of Siennica, next week.

ExxonMobil has six shale-gas exploration licences in Poland, including: two in the central Lublin basin, where it is working with France’s Total; and a joint venture with Hutton Energy in four blocks in the eastern Podlasie basin. Johnson said the acreage gave ExxonMobil access to “two out of three of Poland's most prospective unconventional-gas basins".

The US government reckons Poland could have some of the largest recoverable shale-gas reserves in Europe – estimated at 187 trillion cubic feet. The country has very limited conventional gas production and these potentially vast unconventional resources could have significant economic benefits if they prove commercially viable to extract. They could also eliminate Poland’s need to import gas from Russia, which provides two thirds of the country’s supplies.

Poland has awarded over 90 shale-gas exploration licences to a variety of international companies including ExxonMobil, Chevron, Talisman Energy and 3Legs resources. The government is very keen to get development off the ground and has said it would veto any attempts by the EU to introduce pan-European regulation.

Poland recently warned the EU not to meddle in its plans for shale-gas development by regulating fracking. This was in response to France’s decision to ban the process and fears that similar moratoria on shale drilling and fracking could be rolled out across the EU.

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