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[ClickPress, Thu Jul 07 2016] We have recently downgraded Poland's long-term gas production outlook, removing any contribution in growth from shale gas. The slow pace of exploration is unlikely to pick up in the coming years, tempering the development of below-ground understanding and optimised drilling and hydraulic fracturing processes required for Poland's challenging geology. Conventional gas exploration and developments will slowly boost gas production over our forecast period.

The main trends and developments we highlight for Poland's oil and gas sector are:

We have downgraded Poland's long-term gas production outlook, removing any contribution in growth from shale gas. Exploration for unconventional gas in Poland has come to a near standstill and is unlikely to pick up within the next few years. Only four shale gas exploration wells have been drilled in 2015, down from a high of 24 wells in 2012 and bringing the total number of shale gas exploration well in Poland to 72 wells since 2010.

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Highlighting the continued morose exploration scene, PGNiG announced in May 2016 it will end exploration for shale gas if a 'last chance' well does not yield promising results in June. This would be a death blow to shale exploration efforts in Poland (at least for the coming years) given PGNiG is the last large company still exploring for shale gas in Poland.

While we no longer include shale gas production in our Poland gas production forecast, we continue to highlight the potential of conventional gas exploration and the role it has in boosting Poland's output, as highlighted by San Leon's recent Rawicz discovery, to be developed within the next one to two years. Conventional developments in Poland will very slowly increase Poland's gas production over our forecast period.

We maintain our low gas consumption growth forecast for Poland, as we become increasingly bearish on the country's switch to gas in the power sector. Concern about energy security, the unlikelihood of domestic shale gas production within our forecast period and concerns of rising electricity bills provide little incentive for phasing out cheap coal-fired power generation and a switch to gas-powered generation.

We have again delayed first LNG deliveries to Q216, following declarations by Poland's treasury Minister highlighting cooling operation will only begin at the start of 2016, making first commercial deliveries of LNG only possible from mid-2016 at best. Our previous forecast had planned for first LNG in Q415.

While Poland will remain heavily dependent on Russian gas, it is successfully diversifying its supply options with its first LNG import terminal and reverse flow projects. This increases its bargaining power for gas pricing negotiations with Gazprom.

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