Polish Path For Independence is Paved With Hesitant Residents
Poland’s path to energy independence through shale gas is being delayed by residents and local authorities who remain hesitant to grant access to their land.
Poland imports about two-thirds of its gas from Russia’s OAO Gazprom, and plans to double domestic production by 2019 to improve its negotiating position before talks start on renewing a long-term contract that ends in 2022.
The country is sitting on the European Union’s biggest reserves of shale, enough to last at least 50 years of energy and release it from dependence on gas giant Russia, according to the Polish Geological Institute. Exploiting the deposits will require the government to allay the concerns of the Kashubian ethnic minority, farmers, environmentalists and the tourism industry that hydraulic fracturing, the drilling method that made the U.S. the world’s biggest producer, will pollute their water.
Although significant results have proved the benevolence and reliability of shale production, heightened media focus upon previous industry mistakes have placed fear into those against the process of hydraulic fracturing. When conducted improperly, shale drilling has previously contaminated water supplies in some US plays. However recent considerations and legislation on the proper practice of well development has inexorably reduced the likeliness of contaminations.
Though significant scientific results prove this, addressing this at ground level to those who fear the future of their sustenance commons will be the greatest challenge for shale. This is a fact that all shale abundant nations are having to realise.
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