PKN ORLEN drills the first shale gas exploration well

abarrelfullabarrelfull wrote on 25 Oct 2011 11:10
Tags: gas pkn poland shale upstream

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PKN ORLEN has started to drill the first well for shale gas appraisal and exploration purposes in Syczyn (Commune of Wierzbica, Poland). It is the first of the two core holes planned for this year. The decision to drill in Syczyn was made on the basis of the positive results of geological surveys of the area. The wells will be drilled by MND Drilling & Services of the Czech Republic.

On October 24th 2011, the President of PKN ORLEN inaugurated the drilling of the first core hole in Syczyn. The opening event was attended by central government representatives, representatives of the local authorities in Lublin, as well as by Henryk Jezierski, Chief Geologist of Poland.

PKN ORLEN was awarded the licence for hydrocarbon exploration, including exploration for unconventional gas in the region of Lublin, in 2007. The work performed in the area to date includes chiefly seismic surveys and analysis of archived geological documentation. As the surveys in Wierzbica and Lubartów licence blocks yielded promising results, PKN ORLEN decided to proceed to drilling , the next stage of the exploration work.

The drilling of each core hole should take from 30 to 40 days. The equipment provided by MND Drilling & Services to perform the work includes the most quiet, state-of-the-art drilling equipment currently used in Poland. At the end of November, promptly after the wells are drilled in Wierzbica, the crew with the equipment will move to the second licence block, located in Lubartów (Commune of Niedźwiada).

The well depth assumed by ORLEN will be slightly above 3,000 metres. The decision whether to continue the work in this area will be taken based on the survey results and the examination of core samples. If the outcome turns out to be promising, in mid 2012 ORLEN will drill horizontal wells both in Wierzbica and Lubartów licence areas.

“Production of gas from unconventional sources is much more difficult than production of crude oil. It requires new technologies and immense amounts of money. We are in the fortunate position that the test ground for shale gas production is across the Atlantic, where shale gas has been produced on an industrial scale for as long as ten years now. Ten years is a lot for technology – we will use only the best, proved and safe technologies,” says Jacek Krawiec, President of PKN ORLEN.

ORLEN holds in total eight licences for exploration for crude oil and natural gas in Poland. As many as six of its licence blocks are located in the Lublin region (Bełżyce, Garwolin, Lubartów, Lublin, Wierzbica, Hrubieszów). The licences cover hydrocarbons from both conventional and unconventional deposits, including shale gas.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that out of the potential 5.3bn cubic meters of shale gas available in Poland, 1.24bn cubic meters is located in the Lublin region. These are only preliminary calculations based on the characteristics of the geological basin, but if they are confirmed, Poland would become the world’s fifth largest country in terms of unconventional gas resources.

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