Poland's energy independence may be on the horizon with reports coming out showing that it may be sitting on a vast natural resource. Government officials allocating federal funds towards exploratory research into the benefits and costs of drilling for shale gas reserves, of which expert speculation suggests the country is swimming with. A report and video put out by CNN.com goes deeper into the potential for Poland to unlock the shale gas it is sitting on. Currently relying upon coal for power, Poland is Europe's largest coal exporter. Requiring coal for 90% of the country's power, this dependence hurts the country's ability to meet its carbon emission reduction commitment of cutting 20% by 2020. With government on the hook to deliver on its own green promises, they may have to look to an unlikely aide in the form of large North American oil and gas energy companies. Of those likely to join the Polish rush is Chevron (CVX: NYSE), which has been invited to participate in the process among others.
The move could alleviate some of the price pressures being placed on countries like Poland and the Ukraine that are currently under the constraint of energy dependency to Russian natural gas suppliers. Paying the equivalent of roughly $8 per Mcf or more, it is estimated that a surge in Polish production could cool the higher prices being seen in the region, but more than likely not to the extent that North American natural gas producers are currently seeing.
The process of fracking is still under review in many parts of the world with bans in countries like France and Bulgaria, and in North American states and provinces such as Vermont which recently announced a ban, and Quebec which has currently banned the procedure pending further review.
Click to read more and see the video from CNN.