Poland May Alter Shale Gas Draft After Consulting Investors

Poland’s new environment minister may change proposed shale gas regulations to speed up exploration of the fuel after holding talks with investors and government members next week.

“If I decide that amendments are needed, I intend to present a final version within weeks, not months,” Maciej Grabowski, appointed to the post on Nov. 27, said at his first news conference today. “Investors have been waiting for this for a very long time and they won’t speed up works without stable regulation.”

The ministry’s proposals last year for a state-run fund to participate in exploration ventures raised objections among investors searching for the fuel as well as other cabinet members. Meanwhile, drilling has slowed and foreign companies including Marathon Oil Corp. and Talisman Energy Inc. left Poland this year.

Discussions with investors will address the role and supervision of the state-run fund as well as investors’ concerns about new regulations, Grabowski said.

Disagreements between the Treasury and Environment Ministries over the state fund, called NOKE, have delayed works over the shale gas regulations, newspaper Parkiet reported on Sept. 9.

The nation has granted about 100 licenses to foreign and domestic drillers including Chevron Corp. to tap unconventional resources, ranked by U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2011 as Europe’s biggest, hoping to cut its dependence on supplies from Russia.

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