Birds of Prey Delay Polish Fracking Boom

By Bloomberg - 2013-02-11T12:04:29Z

Photograph by Czarek Sokolowski/AP Photo

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Explorers from ConocoPhillips to Chevron Corp. and Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA may spend $4.5 billion this decade sinking wells to tap into natural gas more than 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) below the nature reserves and winding roads that link rural villages in the north of the country. Last year, about 25 percent fewer wells were completed than forecast by the Environment Ministry as some projects were delayed.

"People in the region have emotional ties to their land, which they've owned for generations," Malgorzata Klawiter, plenipotentiary for shale gas of the marshal of Pomerania, the official charged with promoting the development of the fuel and linking the communities and the industry, said in an interview.

"For them, the value of an old home with a shack and surrounding land is much higher than any market estimate."