The rate of shale gas exploration is still getting lower. May is the next successive month in which there are less exploration concessions. Currently, there are 46 of them awarded to 14 Polish and international companies that belong to 12 capital groups.
One concession – "Bełżyce" in the Lublin Province, held by Orlen Upstream Sp. z o.o. – was relinquished last month.
In terms of concessions held, PGNiG is the leader with 11 concessions, followed by Orlen Upstream Sp. z o.o. with 7 of them and Lotos Petrobaltic SA with 7 offshore concessions. New shale gas exploration and/or appraisal concessions were not awarded.
At the turn of 2012, when shale gas exploration was at its peak in Poland, 113 concessions with a total area of more than 90 000 square km were in effect in Poland. Today, the concession area has shrank to 37 500 square km. Exploration projects are delivered in 9 provinces.
As of 4 May 2015, concession holders drilled 70 exploratory wells, including 16 directional/horizontal and 54 vertical wells. No new wells were drilled in the last month.
In the past years, the progress of shale gas exploration drilling was as follows:
- 2010 - 3 wells,
- 2011 - 12 wells,
- 2012 - 24 wells,
- 2013 - 14 wells,
- 2014 - 15 wells,
- 2015 - 2 wells.
2012 was the record year in drilling terms with 24 completed wells.
The falling pace of exploration is best evidenced by the number of wells drilled in particular years. In 2015, only 2 wells were drilled and none was spud-in by 4 May. In the past years, the number of wells drilled in the same period of time was as follows:
- 2011- 6 completed wells,
- 2012 - 9 completed wells, 3 wells in drilling,
- 2013 - 5 completed wells, 3 wells in drilling,
- 2014 - 8 completed wells, 3 wells in drilling.
Special jobs have been performed in some of the wells to initially assess the shale gas production potential. Hydraulic fracturing was performed in 25 wells (37% of all wells drilled), including 12 horizontal legs. DFIT (Diagnostic Fracture Injection Test) was performed in 9 wells. Special jobs are still to be made in 41 wells.
In the past years, the numbers of hydraulic fracture stimulation and DFIT jobs were as follows:
- 2010 - 2 fracture stimulation operations and 1 DFIT,
- 2011 - 7 fracture stimulation operations,
- 2012 - 8 fracture stimulation operations and 7 DFIT,
- 2013 – 4 fracture stimulation operations and 1 DFIT,
- 2014 - 4 fracture stimulation operations,
- 2015 – no fracture stimulation operations by 5 May.
source: Ministry of the Environment