Fracking in Poland

By Andy May

So, what happened to European efforts to develop a shale gas and oil industry like we have in the United States? Recent shortages, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, and high energy prices have proven that we are not remotely prepared to make it without fossil fuels.

As Holman Jenkins explains in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (Jenkins, 2022), the so-called “Engine No. 1” hedge fund fought a noisy battle with ExxonMobil for board seats that were meant to help lead the company away from fossil fuels. It amounted nothing, except it made Chris James, the billionaire founder of Engine No. 1, even more rich. The news media predictably picked up his cause and drove ExxonMobil’s stock price down into the $30s. James bought his shares of ExxonMobil very cheap and now they have more than doubled in value, today’s price is $78, after less than two years. Was he trying to eliminate fossil fuels, or just trying to get richer?

It is obvious that Europe should develop its potentially rich shale reserves, but they haven’t, why? I was a shale petrophysicist in a previous life, and I can attest to the expense and complexity of discovering, evaluating, and developing shale gas and oil. It is difficult, but not impossible, and it is certainly more rewarding and profitable than wind and solar despite the distorted numbers you might have seen in the news media. The news media declares that non-dispatchable wind and solar have a lower LCOE (levelized cost of electricity generation) or LACE (levelized avoided cost of electricity generation) than all fossil fuels, but they don’t report the details that reveal these calculations are elaborate lies by the EIA, as the EIA admits in the fine print:

“LCOE values for wind and solar technologies are not directly comparable with the LCOE values for other technologies that may have a similar average annual capacity factor. As a result, wind and solar technologies are shown separately as non-dispatchable technologies. Hydroelectric resources, including facilities where storage reservoirs allow for more flexible day-to-day operation, and hybrid solar PV generally have significant seasonal and daily variation, respectively, in availability. EIA shows them as non-dispatchable to discourage comparison with technologies that have more consistent seasonal and diurnal availability [fossil fuels and nuclear].”

U. S. EIA, page 6

In other words, solar and wind, and to a lesser extent hydroelectric, may not be there when you need them, their availability depends upon the weather, the season, and time of day. LCOE does not include the cost of backing up these sources with fossil fuels or nuclear, it just assumes backup will be available when needed. Second, LCOE and LACE include the value of large subsidies for wind and solar in their calculations, further distorting their numbers, since there are no subsidies in the United States for fossil fuels. For a more accurate assessment of the relative costs of various sources of electricity, see the discussion here, it clearly shows that wind and solar are not competitive with fossil fuels, which is what real-life experiments in California and Germany have also shown us.

Shale gas and oil in Poland

Our main source is a peer reviewed paper by Professor Andreea Maierean in the journal Discover Energy (Maierean, 2021). She concludes that due to political, social, and technical factors the multinational energy corporations working in Poland had to abandon their efforts to develop Polish shale deposits.

She points out that U.S. landowners profit from production from below their property, but in Poland and the rest of Europe this is not the case. Fossil fuels and other profitable minerals below the surface in Poland are owned by the government, so the local property owner has no incentive to allow exploration and production on their land, and a huge disincentive to do so. In the U.S. sometimes there is split ownership of property where one person owns the mineral rights under the land and another owns the surface rights. Under U.S. laws, the surface owner cannot prevent the minerals owner from accessing their minerals, however, the surface owner is due compensation for access to the land and for damages. There is no such law or principle in Europe, while surface rental is commonly paid there, the surface owner has more ability to keep the mineral owner, usually the government, from accessing their minerals.

Another advantage the United States has is decentralization. Local and state governments control the energy regulations in most of the United States. In Europe usually the minerals are owned and controlled by the national governments, which tend to be more restrictive.

Besides the legal advantages in the United States, the U.S. enjoys an advanced and widespread drilling, evaluation, and hydraulic fracturing industry. European countries have some access to these technologies and services, but not at the scale or cost necessary for shale exploitation. European environmental groups, possibly funded in part by Russia according to NATO, managed to apply enough pressure to halt hydraulic fracturing in most European countries.

There are two main reasons that the multinational oil and gas companies abandoned their efforts to develop shale gas there. The primary reason was access and infrastructure. A 2,000 meter horizontal well costs less than four million dollars in the U.S., but over eleven million dollars in Poland. Poland also has very few pipelines and they are not in the best drilling locations, this combined with a Polish prohibition on flaring gas while testing wells made a proper exploration effort virtually impossible.

The second reason was a combination of public protests against drilling, and regulations that prohibited proper testing of wells. In 2012 and 2013, Polish farmers protested and fought off Chevron drilling crews and successfully stopped their exploration efforts near Żurawlów, Poland (Szolucha, 2019). Eventually, Chevron had to abandon their exploration efforts.

Shale exploration is very different from exploration for conventional oil and gas. In shale you already know where the resource is, the problem is finding the location within the shale where you can economically develop the resource. This means drilling, completing, and producing a number of wells until you find locations and techniques where drilling, fracturing and production techniques work economically. In conventional fields, you explore for the reservoir first, then work on producing it, in shales you must do both at the same time. Further in shale the testing period is longer, typically six months, while a test of a conventional discovery is completed in a day or two. Often fracturing the reservoir is not required for a conventional well, and the production can be stored in tanks. Not so with shale.

Poland simply didn’t have the infrastructure, or the regulations required to figure out their shale potential. Some think the shales are not very productive anyway, and this is true for the locations that were drilled, the organic content of the shales was low, and the shales were too ductile to fracture properly, at those locations. However, other locations, where drilling was not allowed, may have worked.

Poland probably has between 350 to 5,300 billion cubic meters of potentially recoverable natural gas, the large range of estimates is due to the lack of good geological data, which in turn is due to the lack of drilling and testing. Poland’s consumption of natural gas was about 21 billion cubic meters in 2020 to put these numbers into perspective (Johnson & Boersma, 2013).

One Polish geologist warned the Polish Senat (the upper house of the Polish parliament):

“let’s not publicize this issue! It’s not the European Union that is going to impede our shale gas project, but we will do it [to] ourselves. It is against Polish national interest to talk about taxation of resources, to threaten with them… Law can be created in secret and so on, but I warn you not to talk about it out loud because it will end badly”

Anonymous Polish geologist.

He prepared a slide which depicted Gazprom (as a huge Russian bear) playing chess with the European Union. The cartoon summarized the way in which many Polish geologists thought about the main threats to the shale gas project (Szolucha, 2019). I was unable to find his cartoon or his name, but Figure 1 makes a similar point, it is from The Korea Times.

Figure 1. Putin using Gazprom as a weapon. Cartoon from The Korea Times, April 13, 2014.

While the footprint (land area required) of shale oil and gas development is much smaller than the footprint of solar and wind installations, it is larger than that required for conventional oil and gas fields. Further shale requires many more wells and almost continuous drilling, until Poland and the rest of Europe modify their regulations to accommodate shale development, it will not happen. The problem with shale gas and oil production in Europe is not engineering, geology, or finance; it is all government regulations and public will. Probably the only way to achieve it, is to turn over the government-held subsurface mineral rights to the current surface rights owners.

Download the bibliography here.

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February 26, 2022 6:04 pm

The west is pouring billions of dollars into Russia buying oil and gas to ultimately finance the war in Ukraine. Halt all purchase from Russia today and the war will end tommorrow. Burn coal in the meanwhile. There is plenty available. Stop sending coal to China. They are no friend of the west. Russia only invaded Ukraine with Chinese financing.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  ferdberple
February 26, 2022 11:50 pm

CCP = Global domination!!! No ifs, buts, or maybes!!!

Reply to  ferdberple
February 27, 2022 12:19 am

so you advocate Australia shouldn’t ship coal to china?

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 1:33 am

That would suit employees of “green Renewable Free” energy companies such as yourself, I think

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 3:45 am

Not going to happen regardless of what you and ferberple think.

So tell us about EU energy security Griff what should they do?

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 7:49 am

When you figure out the difference between buying from and selling to, come back and apologize to the class.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 27, 2022 12:44 am

Germany gets almost half their gas from Russia so I doubt it is feasible to just stop. Nor do we want people heating their homes and cooking with coal.

They cannot restructure the energy system overnight. I do expect them to transition away from Russian gas but it will take from years to decades to do that.

Reply to  David Wojick
February 27, 2022 3:03 am

Sensible first step:- immediately cancel closure of German nukes.

No tsunamis in Bavarian lakes recently.

And keep on burning Lignite. Horrible compared to hard coal, but it is effective and less damaging, infinitely more reliable and far cheaper than GangGreen’s solar and wind.

Reply to  David Wojick
February 27, 2022 10:47 am

The best replacement for Russian gas is US gas. Biden shutting down federal shale leases was malicious. The next president should put all the federal land in the western US up for auction, except bits the federal government is actually using such as Camp Pendleton.

Richard Page
Reply to  David Wojick
February 27, 2022 1:38 pm

I read today that Germany has discussed moving away from Russian gas by building 2 LNG terminals and shipping the gas in. The article stated that Germany could get a lot of gas from China. So, in order to transition away from Russian gas, Germany will take shipments of Chinese gas whilst China increases it’s imports of Russian gas, relabelling it as Chinese? This world is becoming crazier every day.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  Richard Page
February 27, 2022 2:31 pm

I don’t think China has enough gas for their own economy, let alone shipping it to Germany. Plus, the route would consume half the cargo. Let them eat cake until they decide to either increase nuclear or drill. Plenty of companies would be happy to drill for gas there if the Germans would let them make a profit.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Richard Page
February 28, 2022 11:08 am

China is a massive net importer of gas, increasingly from Russia. Check out the mouseover version of this map:

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  ferdberple
February 27, 2022 12:21 pm

I wonder how many European and American politicians are making money out of the situation as they also do out of the arms industry? They need to be publically named and shamed together with their media backers.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Michael in Dublin
February 27, 2022 9:01 pm

Stupid energy policy is an opportunity.

Why shame people for taking advantage of stupidity?

It’s the people who created the stupid policy that need shaming.

Tom Halla
February 26, 2022 6:10 pm

Yeah, as long as the government owns all the subsurface rights, the surface
property owners are in the right to block any development.
That sort of legal system leads to perverse results, which Andy May is right in pointing out.

4 Eyes
Reply to  Tom Halla
February 26, 2022 7:51 pm

In Oz the state Govt owns the minerals and the landowner owns the surface. The landowner is obliged to allow mineral exploration and in return is to be compensated, at a minimum, for loss of use of their land. It works well because landowners normally get more than adequate compensation for economic loss and they get to inherit water supplies, roads and good fences, and sometomes surplus piping.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  4 Eyes
February 26, 2022 10:02 pm

4 Eyes,
The Fedeceral Govt in Australia does not have a “Minerals” Act, which I tried to remedy by getting a QC to compose one in the late 1980s.
The dominant principle was that before discovery, nobody owned minerals. Ownership passed to the discoverer at the stage of being able to present an economic feasibility study, including a Royalty to the Government (State or Federal, as the case might be). The surface land owner was compensated by the discoverer for loss of income and amenity, by negotiation.
This tactic failed, of course, because it was trendy for bureaucrats to never give away control.
Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
February 26, 2022 10:39 pm

It failed because you clearly don’t know the basics of Australian law. All minerals are owned by the different states and that is guaranteed by the act of federation.

The federal government can not have a “Minerals” Act or it would make the act of federation and our constitution null and void.

Your idea had zero chance of adoption and the whole concept is ridiculous. It’s rejection has nothing to do with trendy bureaucrats it is because it was fascial and a waste of time (which is what I imagine they dismissed it on).

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  LdB
February 27, 2022 1:08 am

There were Territories as well as States to consider.
State ownership of minerals is not allocated by the Constitution.
Geoff S

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
February 27, 2022 3:55 am

Sorry mate you don’t have a clue and I call BS.

Give me a case file number and the QC or it didn’t happen because I don’t think any QC would be stupid enough to run that case and may face actions for taking any fee. That was the second part of the question how much did you pay the QC?

Now if you attempted to run that garbage representing yourself you would probably get put on the “vexatious litigant list”. There are 178 people on the list as of last year and Geoff Sherrington is not one.

So give us some details?

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  LdB
February 27, 2022 11:24 pm

Dick Conti QC (deceased)
It was not a case. It was a submission.
It followed the Feds taking away our valid leases and licences in the NT by declaring National Park & UN World Heritage status and making domestic legislation in Parks and Wildlife Act saying “No operations for the recovery of minerals…”
In today’s $$$. we were deprived of potential billions with no compensation.
That is not in the Constitution either.
It was mid 1080s, but the principles remain today.
Why are you so anti? Have you never had your income stripped by bureaucratic orders? Geoff S

Dan Pangburn
February 26, 2022 6:25 pm

It’s clear what Putin has Europe by, the squeeze will be unpleasant.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Dan Pangburn
February 26, 2022 11:54 pm

As was his very intentions from the moment he gained power!!!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
February 27, 2022 2:24 pm

I wonder what Obama and the CIA were doing in Ukraine 😉

February 26, 2022 6:48 pm

Nuclear in America.

February 26, 2022 7:16 pm

Europe might just wake up if the war in Ukraine destroys all the pipelines to Europe. Net Zero has a whole different meaning when your house has no heat or electricity.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 26, 2022 8:10 pm

Is there any wisdom anywhere in Europe? The elites can’t solve the problems because their superior education has ablated the right hemispheres of their brains and they have the same disconnect from reality as the average schizophrenic. The working people can’t solve the problems because they lack the education.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 2:42 am

The Elites are not living in the Real World, they are living in a Delusional World where CO2 is a bigger danger than Putin.

Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 4:02 am

what problems?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  commieBob
February 27, 2022 9:21 am

Don’t you mean left hemisphere?

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
February 27, 2022 2:35 pm

The right hemisphere is the brain’s bs detector. The left hemisphere can’t deal with context.

The left hemisphere is very good at procedural things like recipes and formulas. On the other hand, it jumps to conclusions on the flimsiest of evidence, can’t imagine that it could possibly be wrong, and won’t change its mind even in the face of overwhelming evidence. If you ask it something it doesn’t know, it will make something up.

Reply to  ferdberple
February 27, 2022 8:34 pm

From what I can tell, Ukrainian pipelines carrying gas from Russia/Siberia to Europe are transporting gas mainly from old, largely depleted giant gas fields (Orenburg, Urengoy) that are pretty much tapped out; the most productive reservoirs are full of water and depressurized. The deeper reservoirs under them are much harder to produce and contain mostly condensate. (I am a geologist.) Probably why the newer pipelines going straight to northwestern Europe, including Nordstream and Nordstream 2, are the main focus. Those come from the Arctic/Yamal peninsula fields, which are more recently developed, but not as prolific as Urengoy. Very expensive, technically difficult (permafrost), and capital-intensive to develop. So anyway, the trans Ukraine gas pipelines may have a limited future no matter what.

Jeff L
February 26, 2022 7:19 pm

LNG from the US to Europe = No need for Russian gas
Frack on my friends!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Jeff L
February 27, 2022 2:45 am

And Biden is trying to stop other, non-Russian pipelines from supplying Europe.

Is Biden working for Putin? Is this Biden paying Putin back for the $3.5 million Biden’s son Hunter received from the Russians?

Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 27, 2022 4:03 am

looks that way does it not? Yet not a peep outta the msm…collusion?

February 26, 2022 8:11 pm

Lots of speculation about energy supplies in Europe with the invasion. Putin knows if he withholds gas there will be nasty world repercussions and also he won’t be able to fund continued war or occupation. He also doesn’t want to start WWIII because he knows there would be no winner, least of all Russia. I’m betting this incursion will cause countries to take a realistic look at their own fossil fuel resources, and they all have them, closer and consider if not starting to extract them for energy security purposes. AGW will be put on the back burner.

Reply to  markl
February 27, 2022 12:24 am

Or accelerate their renewables roll out.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 1:37 am

That would suit a Renewables company employee

Tom Abbott
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 2:53 am

How many windmills would it take to replace the Russian gas, Griff?

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 3:57 am

We need gas to fill the lack of renewables that these never are able to produce at the time it’s necessary.
Nightly sunshine has to be invented from your clueless greenies .

Shuting down nuclear and coal was breaking the energy neck.

Last edited 2 months ago by Krishna Gans
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 3:58 am

Lets just say anyone only had half a brain and bought that story … how fast do you really think it could happen 🙂

Joao Martins
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 4:49 am

Yes, and when the roll out will be complete, the population will be reduced to one half due to emigration to warmer places or death by cold…

Bob boder
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 5:28 am


You are an idiot and you need to just stop posting.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 9:24 am

Yes, I’m afraid the eurocentric retards just might be stupid enough to do that. Ye reap what ye sow!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 9:05 pm

They can build 4 times the wind and solar they have now and will still need the same amount of gas generation.

I constantly wonder why you can’t see that

Tom Abbott
Reply to  markl
February 27, 2022 2:49 am

One pipeline going through Urkaine has been blown up by someone and is currently burning.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of pipelines going through Ukraine ended up being disabled.

Europe better be looking for alternatives to Russian gas.

Richard Page
Reply to  Tom Abbott
February 27, 2022 1:48 pm

From the news reports, I think that might be a domestic gas pipeline and terminal that got hit, it’s somewhere around Kharkiv, which I think is away from the Russian gas pipelines.

Paul Johnson
February 26, 2022 8:49 pm

It’s fracking WAR. Hasn’t anyone in Poland noticed yet?

Last edited 3 months ago by Paul Johnson
Reply to  Paul Johnson
February 27, 2022 9:52 am

Paul, with all respect, you have no idea on the subject:

In April 2006, Radosław Sikorski, then Poland’s defence minister, compared the project to the infamous 1939 Nazi-Soviet Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact […]’

Philip Mulholland
February 26, 2022 9:13 pm

In the meantime in the South Atlantic.
Venus – Another huge discovery?

February 26, 2022 10:41 pm

Thank the lord for the U.S. and property rights.
The farmers around my woods are going to have a hard year with the price of fertilizer being so high they are either going to let their fields lay fallow or plant turnips. Thankfully some have a few derricks pumping oil to supplement their income.

February 27, 2022 12:19 am

It is obvious that Europe should develop its potentially rich shale reserves, but they haven’t, why?

It isn’t obvious and they don’t because of the environmental impact and because they are busy transiting from fossil fuels to renewables.

Philip Mulholland
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 12:47 am

comment image

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 1:39 am

They’re busy being stupid.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Lrp
February 27, 2022 2:55 am

Real stupid.

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 3:08 am

This is no time for your bullshit, designed and paid for by Putin and Gazprom.

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 4:00 am

They are transitioning to no power rather successfully.

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 5:12 am

Griff might accidentally be correct. The environmental impact of shale is a greener planet, but the benefits are spread throughout the world and somewhat randomly. Leftists don’t like any life they can’t control, so obviously they are against it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 9:35 am

It is easier to convince people to drink poisoned Kool-Aid than to think independently. You have apparently already imbibed, and don’t even realize it.

February 27, 2022 12:35 am

This shows Russian gas exports by country of destination…

• Russia: pipeline gas exports by country 2020 | Statista

for UK this is no more than 5% of total demand.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 1:45 am

Wilkins Micawber
“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen [pounds] nineteen [shillings] and six [pence], result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.”

Same applies to supply and demand, which is where your employers will let the nation down on windless days

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 3:59 am

Well the the UK should be immune to what happens next … right?

Reply to  griff
February 27, 2022 7:54 am

Which means you won’t have to increase internal production by much in order to replace Russian gas.

February 27, 2022 12:53 am

If the government decides to go big with fracking, then it will happen given your description. It is certainly a possibility given the invasion next door combined with the energy price spike. But both these factors may be short term. And if we have a full scale NATO-Russia war there will be no fracking.

February 27, 2022 2:38 am

I read about this big EU court case against Poland. The EU is trying to stop Poland mining and burning coal. This would leave Poland dependant on Russian gas.

Reply to  Peter
February 27, 2022 4:04 am

Yes still ongoing

When EU gas goes out shortly Poland will be laughing at the EU.

Last edited 2 months ago by LdB
Richard Page
Reply to  LdB
February 27, 2022 1:51 pm

True but that won’t stop the EU morons.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  Peter
February 27, 2022 11:35 pm

Yes that doesn’t surprise me, those un-elected, un-democratic, un-accountable, & un-sackable, over-paid, under-worked, self-enriching bureaucrats really do think things through – allegedly!!! There have been one or two balls-ups (nautical expression nothing vulgar) in the EU, & not one of these bureaucrats has ever resigned or forced to step down as a result of their incompetence!!! DO NOT allow bureaucrats to take charge of anything more important than public conveniences, & even then make sure they don’t overstep their limited abilities to think!!! Never forget the bureaucrats creed, “I create hoops for other people to jump through,…………because I can!!!”.

February 27, 2022 5:20 am

Have been llooking for a discussion about shale in Europe. Thanks!

John K. Sutherland
February 27, 2022 7:21 am

The so-called ‘free world’ is now learning a much-needed lesson about energy.
Democracies do not wage war on democracies, but tyrants do.
Deal only with democracies.
Do not become dependent upon dictators and tyrants for those things that you absolutely must have… like affordable, abundant, and reliable energy… especially in winter.
Do not listen to the most ignorant people in your own society who tell you that relying upon unreliable energy (wind and solar) will help save the climate. It won’t. In fact, it will do the opposite.
Poor, energy-deficient societies cannot afford to address the environment as they fight to survive and feed themselves, so they destroy it (think Haiti). But when have environmentalist ever been right about anything they know nothing about, including climate, as well as the environment, or even energy?
Energy independence should be the goal of every country, after this wake-up call to pull back from ‘Globalization’ where tyrants can manipulate and destroy at will.
Europe should never have become dependent upon Russian oil or gas, or coal. Yet they persisted in giving them billions of dollars so that they could flex their muscles and threaten the west. Europe should immediately pull the plug on Russian oil and gas. The short-term pain and disruption, will be less than the long-term consequences. Ukraine may do it for them by blowing up the pipelines. Now, about Nordstream 2…? Kill that, too.
Germany also had reliable and excellent Nuclear-power facilities, but in their stupidity, they decided to phase them out. They woke up this winter and continued mining dirty coal because wind and solar could not deliver. I hope they are learning by now that depending upon Russia for anything, was NOT the way to go and that they will reverse that nuclear-phaseout process if they can, while weaning themselves off the Russian teat, and buying oil and gas from the ‘free world’. I won’t hold my breath.
Nuclear-energy, coal, and hydro, are all you need for ‘base-load’ and ‘peaking’ electricity, and you can wean yourself off coal if you have nuclear power.
Wind and solar are unreliable and expensive pipe dreams that need traditional energy backup. You don’t need them… they will
‘crash’ your grid.
Oil and gas can be bought from many other suppliers who will not choose to invade you or manipulate your economy.
Hydrogen is not the answer to replace oil. There are no hydrogen mines. Hydrogen is not cost effective… Thermodynamics tells us this… for those who understand the simple physics.
France pulled back from the brink of energy disaster, and is now ready to build more nuclear, which is now suddenly given a ‘green’ label by the Eurocrats, along with gas.
England has still not realized that it is sitting on a major oilfield, and gas enough for their needs (Bowland Shales) and should get on with fracking before they too, learn the follies of burning wood chips from the US, relying upon unreliable wind and solar, closing English and Welsh coal mines with hundreds of years of supply, and depending upon off-shore suppliers for oil and gas.
The USA was the biggest producer of world oil energy, and exported it, until the Biden administration began to close it down. They now import about 500,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia. They could have had it from Canada through the Keystone XL (cancelled on day ‘one’) and other pipelines that are held up.
Weak leaders, who project their weakness through bluster, ignorance and stupidity, are very dangerous people.
After Ukraine, what then? This is how world wars begin, when any country has weak and stupid leaders (Biden, Trudeau, Johnson, and Merkel and her successor) who know nothing about energy supply but listen and take bad advice from those around them, who also know nothing.
Government, and politics should get out of the way before it is too late, when it comes to ENERGY.
Unfortunately, it may already be too late for Europe.

Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 8:27 am

The fossil fuel shills fought tooth and nail for decades to prevent Europe from deploying more renewable capacity. How’s that working out now…?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Barry Anthony
February 27, 2022 9:10 pm

Fossil fuel shills?
You mean consumers?
People who don’t want to freeze to death?

Reply to  Barry Anthony
March 1, 2022 1:08 pm

To the extent that it prevented Europe from closing down power sources that actually work, it’s been working great.
Renewables do not work and will never work.

February 27, 2022 8:49 pm

It’s far from certain, and actually unlikely, that there is a significant shale gas resource in Poland. Gas was almost certainly generated, but subsequently tectonic activity, natural fracturing, and uplift likely allowed the generated gas to be lost. Good faith exploration efforts by Western major oil companies failed. Look up the brief USGS assessment done nearly a decade ago. Situation likely similar is Great Britain.

February 28, 2022 7:14 am

Russian dark rubles, whether deployed in significant numbers or not, are inconsequential. Rather, what matters are the several mundane problems of profitability. As Mr. May mentioned, shale exploitation requires the kind of entrepreneurial service infrastructure currently only available (until recently) in the CONUS. Not to mention, enough of the right geology, high prices, lots of water, royalty rates lower than most of the rest of the world, more haz waste disposal capability then anywhere now available, anywhere. And a wink wink regulatory structure, coupled with due diligence to shirking most asset retirement obligations. Bone throw, the required tech and continuous improvement processes can be rented from a few dozen US forepersons and petroleum engineers.

It’s no accident that Scott Sheffield, one of the most successful shale entrepreneurs extant, won’t waste stockholder $, even in a $90+ dollar environment. He is, of course, followed by most shale CEO’s. They regularly PR about 2022 production stretch goals, but (wisely) none have committed the 300+% increases in 2021 CAPEX required.

A good link the the PXD 2022 plan. Please pay attention to who Mr. Sheffield goes out of his way to not blame.

Last edited 2 months ago by bigoilbob
March 11, 2022 5:15 am

Sorry but as is often the case shale production is not cut and paste. If you look at the particulars of prospective Polish shales you will find they have low organics content and are deep relative to productive US shales. Since deep the nano-darcy perm you find in US shales are more on the order of pico-darcies. Since deep the closure pressures for both natural and induced propped fractures are high. The number of wells with core data does provide a good sample indicating if there is a magical place then it is expected to be very small areally relative to US productive shales. I would not recommend you invest. Unfortunate but that is often the way with reality.

March 11, 2022 5:37 am

Forgot to mention that the shales in Poland are deep and also not over-pressured. Many things have to be aligned for economic shale production that are not present in Poland. Even when you have alignment shales have low ultimate recovery with significant capital requirements and so high risk.

March 11, 2022 6:05 am

Also (2nd)
Our friend George Soros bought 20% of BNK Petroleum in 2010. BNK had shale acreage under license in the Baltic Basin of Poland. They conducted a drilling program with poor results and relinquished their acreage in Poland in 2016. George was looking for a shale bonanza in Eastern Europe that didn’t materialize. There have been wells drilled in both the Lublin Basin and the smaller Baltic Basin that indicate poor prospectivity.

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