Eni reportedly to pull out of Polish shale gas exploration

January 16, 2014

Italian energy firm Eni will give up all of its Polish shale gas permits because of tough geology and an unclear regulatory environment, the same issues that have already pushed other foreign firms to quit Polish shale, industry sources said, Reuters reported on January 14.

The difficulties in Poland, which was touted a few years ago as having the best shale gas prospects in Europe, could send a chill through other countries on the continent that are trying to exploit shale gas, including Britain.

The Italian company owned three licences in the north of Poland. In a statement sent to Reuters, Poland's environment ministry said two of the licences had already expired with no plan from Eni to renew them. It said it had no information on the third permit, which runs until 2018.

But three industry sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Eni would pull out of the third permit as well, ending its shale gas activities in Poland entirely.

"The (Eni) guys are packing their bags; they are leaving Poland. I think the reasons were predominantly costs, regulation and geology," a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Another industry source said the third licence will be given up before it expires and that challenging geological conditions were the main motive for Eni's decision.

The sources confirmed an earlier report in Polish daily Puls Biznesu that Eni was preparing to pull out of Polish shale gas entirely.

Copyright: Reuters, 2014