Eni to Search for Shale Gas in Poland, Scaroni Says

Eni SpA, Italy’s biggest oil company, plans to search for shale gas in Poland to make up for production declines in other European countries, Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni said.

The Rome-based company “believes in” shale exploration even though extraction in Europe is more complex than in the U.S. because of population density and governments will have to grant exploration licenses, Scaroni told reporters today in Milan.

Drilling and fracturing rock formations to pump natural gas from shale rock is being encouraged as a way of helping Europe to diversify its energy sources. Poland had issued 58 licenses allowing companies to search for unconventional gas as of June 7, according to Ewa Zalewska, director of the license department at the Environment Ministry.

Eni will search for Polish shale gas using technology borrowed from U.S. partner Quicksilver Resources Inc, Scaroni said. Exploration will make Europe less dependent on supplies from Algeria, Norway and Russia, he said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Alessandra Migliaccio in Rome at amigliaccio@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy@bloomberg.net.

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