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Talisman Considering Ending Shale Exploration in Poland

Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc. is considering a plan to exit shale development in Poland, a move that helps the company focus elsewhere but is also a blow to what was once considered Europe's best source for shale natural gas and a hedge against pipeline gas supplies from Russia.

"We are considering it," David Mann, Talisman spokesman, told NGI's Shale Daily. "It is part of a new strategy that we launched last fall where we're looking at reducing our global footprint and focusing on our highest-return investment."

Talisman recently announced that it was looking to replace natural gas with higher-margin liquids, and was planning to sell or divest $1-1.5 billion of assets in the North Duvernay Shale and parts of the Montney Shale in North America (see Shale Daily, March 7).

"We're considering a lot of other things, too," Mann said. "We've got about 40 Tcf of potential gas resource in North America for sale."

According to Poland's Ministry of the Environment, as of Jan. 1 the country has granted 245 concessions for oil and natural gas exploration, including 19 joint concessions. Talisman reportedly owns three concessions. Poland's most prospective shale gas areas are said to be in the Pomerania, Podlasie and Lubin regions.

Last summer, ExxonMobil Corp. ended its exploration efforts in Poland after disappointing results from two test wells drilled into the country's shale plays (see Shale Daily, June 19, 2012). The Irving, TX-based supermajor held six exploration licenses in eastern Poland covering 1.6 million acres.

In March 2012, Poland reported that its technically recoverable unconventional gas reserves totaled 346-768 billion cubic meters, or 12.2-27.1 Tcf. That projection is a fraction of the 187 Tcf the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported the country had in April 2011 (see Shale Daily, March 26, 2012; April 7, 2011).

According to EIA, Poland imported 416 Bcf of natural gas in 2011. A large amount of Europe's natural gas imports come from Russia.

Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips are other U.S. producers with operations in Poland (see Shale Daily, March 14, 2012; Oct. 27, 2011). Polish operators PGNiG and PKN Orlen are also exploring the country's shale deposits.

In late 2011, Talisman said it planned to drill three vertical wells in Poland by early 2012 and would drill horizontal laterals in late 2012 (see Shale Daily, Nov. 7, 2011).

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