Best Drupal HostingBest Joomla HostingBest Wordpress Hosting

World Policy Journal is proud to share our revived weekly podcast, World Policy On Air, featuring former Newsweek On Air host David Alpern and West Wing Reports founder Paul Brandus. Click here to subscribe on iTunes, listen on, and access the archive!


Africa Investigates is a new podcast from World Policy Institute in partnership with the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting and with funds from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa. Join Chris Roper as he showcases recent exposés into corruption across Africa. Click here to subscribe on iTunes and listen on





How Poland’s Shale Gas Will Transform Europe

By Artur Kluz

Shale gas fields have revolutionized the global energy sector, potentially ushering in a new “Golden Age of Gas.” According to the Institute for Energy Research, total recoverable natural gas resources in the U.S. are estimated at 4.244 quadrillion cubic feet. This is more than in Russia, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkmenistan—combined. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) states that initial assessments identified 862 trillion cubic feet of recoverable shale gas resources in the United States. This shale gas revolution will be replicated elsewhere, and in Europe, there is one clear winner—Poland—and this will transform the region’s balance of power.

Poland is recognized as one of the leaders in this field and has some of the largest deposits of shale gas in Europe. Like the U.S., the country is positioned to reshape the energy sector. Poland’s shale oil resources together with its conventional fields could provide the equivalent of 360 to 440 years of oil at Poland’s current production level. According to the Kosciuszko Institute, the Polish shale gas industry could create over 155,000 new jobs within the next 10 years, and Conoco Philips, Chevron, Marathon Oil, and others are exploring these reserves in Poland. The discovery of recoverable shale gas could make Poland a major shale gas exporter, improving its economy while helping it—and its European neighbors—decrease dependence on Russian oil.

Today, Poland relies on domestic coal resources and gas from Russia, but this won’t be the case for much longer. At an April 2010 press conference, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski remarked,  “Because of shale gas, in 10 to 15 years, Poland has a chance to become a second Norway.”

Poland wants to attract investors, and thanks to its status as Europe’s fastest growing economy, it will likely succeed. According to Ernst & Young’s 2011 annual survey, Poland is the most attractive investment place in Europe. It should be no surprise the Bank of China opened a Warsaw office in June. It was also the only country in the EU that avoided the financial crisis and maintained GDP growth over 4 percent. At the same time, Poland is fast becoming a leading business incubator: In 2011, 47 percent of Europe’s IPO listings were filed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

About $625 million was invested in Poland to search for unconventional gas deposits in recent years, and, according to the Polish Ministry of the Environment, 38 foreign companies will drill new wells in search of shale gas this year. Poland’s largest oil and gas exploration and production companies have formed strong ties with U.S. and Canadian companies that possess the technology to increase its access to drilling expertise.

However, the policies that enabled the shale gas revolution in the United States do not exist in the European Union. Strict EU regulations regarding environmental issues and water do not support the growth and development of the shale gas industry. The EU Commission has shown no willingness to invest in R&D for shale gas, arguing that the market should develop shale gas. According to Chatham House’s research, the European gas market has relatively few sellers and buyers, poor price transparency, and high transactional costs. Drilling a shale gas well in Poland still costs three times as much as in the U.S. due to a lack of competition. However, improving shale gas infrastructure, bringing technology from U.S. and Canada, and creating fully transparent and mature market will quickly change this situation, especially with Europe desperate to become energy independent from Russia.

There is no doubt the shale gas revolution will have a huge impact. Poland has the potential to become a global shale gas expert, transferring its knowledge to countries around the world. The development of advanced shale technology could marginalize the Russian energy sector, decreasing Russian oil and gas firm Gazprom’s pricing power and its profits. This marginalization would be compounded in 2016, when the U.S. and Canada plan to start exporting their own liquid shale gas. With the introduction of shale gas into the market, the fear of Russia turning off its oil spigot could disappear. This threat has held Europe hostage for years, and the exploitation of shale gas in Poland could finally free the EU to take a tougher stance against Russia.



Artur Kluz is an attorney, international affairs expert and entrepreneur, partner at Metropolitan Capital Solutions. 

[Photo courtesy of wcn247]


Anonymous's picture
Natural gas is the way to go.

Natural gas is the way to go. Natural gas is the future of energy. It is replacing dirty, dangerous, expensive coal and nuclear plants. It is producing the electricity for electric cars. It will directly fuel cars,pickup trucks, vans, buses, long haul trucks, dump trucks, locomotives, aircraft, ships etc. It will keep us out of more useless wars, where we shed our blood and money. It is reducing CO2 emissions. Here are over 1,500 recent links for you: NbaKYme3bqOw0b6KMxXSjOLHLNeflalPy9gIAiTY
Post new comment
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account, used to display your avatar.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image. Ignore spaces and be careful about upper and lower case.
Around WPI


World Policy Announces Expansion to Loyola Marymount University The World Policy and Loyola Marymount announce the World Policy Institute at LMU, a first of its kind, interdisciplinary research and academic center.

VP Al Gore & WPI Chair Joseph Cari

Al Gore presides over Arctic Roundtable 

As the United States prepares to assume chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2015, this inaugural convening of the Arctic Deeply Roundtables launches a vital conversation for our times. 

World Economic Roundtable with Vicente Fox 

In this World Economic Roundtable, former Mexican President Vicente Fox discusses his current quest to make his country a hub for technology. 

Become a Member Join the World Policy Community and change the conversation on the most pressing challenges of the future. Show your support today.   


Intern at World Policy

Want to join our team? Looking for an experience at one of the most highly sought-after internships for ambitious students? Application details here.


To learn about the latest in media, programming, and fellowship, subscribe to the World Policy Weekly Newsletter and read through our archives.

World Policy on Facebook