Prospects in Poland

Several energy companies with Oklahoma ties are involved in energy discoveries in Poland that could cause a shift in the energy security of that country.

Huge, recoverable natural gas deposits have been found in Poland. Multinational producers – Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil Corp. and Halliburton – are digging in to the shale-rock deposits, testing the supply and will soon decide whether to invest millions into the formation.

Right now, Poland imports natural gas from Russia to fuel areas of its economy that don’t rely on coal. However, Gazprom, Russia’s state-run gas supplier holds significant sway over the supply and price of gas in Europe. These new discoveries of shale gas in Poland could finally provide the competition Europe has been looking for over the years.

Natural gas also provides Poland a way to meet the ever-growing global push to meet lower emissions standards. Using more natural gas to generate electricity, versus coal, would mean fewer carbon emissions. Right now, renewables such as wind and solar make up less than five percent of Poland’s power supply.

“It’s a dream,” said Krzysztof Lisek, vice chairman of Poland Parliament’s subcommittee on security and defense. “You can imagine in the future Poland, instead of being a gas importer, can be a gas exporter. It would completely change the geopolitical situation in the region.”