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png234WARSAW: State-controlled Polish gas monopoly PGNiG plans to drill at least 10 shale gas wells in 2013, it said, part of a government drive to step up exploration of unconventional resources.


Poland is counting on untapped shale gas reserves to help it become less dependent on Russia, which supplies more than half of the nearly 15 billion cubic metres the country use annually.


PGNiG could drill up to 15 new wells in 2013 depending on the results of initial efforts, its head of exploration, Zbigniew Zabkowicz, said on Wednesday.


Exploration companies have drilled 33 test wells over the past few years in Poland.


"The results we have reached so far allow us to plan further works" Zabkowicz said at a conference, adding eight of the 10 wells will be drilled in the north and two in the southeast.


PGNiG may also drill another five horizontal wells in its most promising concession in the Lubocino region, he said.


Some analysts say Poland's shale gas ambitions are not realistic. Earlier this year, Poland slashed its estimates for the size of shale gas deposits.


Copyright Reuters, 2012


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