On June 9th−10th, the third edition of the international ShaleScience conference will be held in Warsaw, bringing together scientists and experts from Poland and around the world to discuss shale gas recovery techniques that could prove the most effective in the Polish geological setting. The speakers will draw on the first available results of the prospecting operations carried out in 2009−2014, and will undertake a comparative analysis of Polish and American reservoir properties.
The third ShaleScience conference, entitled 'Evolution of the Notion of Shale Gas Stimulation', will be held on June 9th−10th at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw. The event's founder and organiser is ORLEN Upstream, the leader in shale gas exploration in Poland. The partners of the conference are leading research centres from Poland and abroad: AGH University of Science and Technology in Kraków, the Oil and Gas Institute – National Research Institute, and the Energy and Geoscience Institute – University of Utah. The event will be held under the honorary patronage of the Polish Ministry of the Environment, and will be attended by the world's experts in geology, geophysics and petroleum engineering. The main focus of this year's conference will be to formulate the most effective approach to the design and implementation of techniques for the stimulation of Polish shale rock formations given their specific geological properties.
“Despite the difficult geological conditions, PKN ORLEN is continuing its exploration work and keeps developing its knowledge and expertise. We are determined in our efforts to adapt the world's latest technologies to our needs, test our own techniques, increase our knowledge, and share experience, all with the aim of improving the prospects of commercial production of shale gas in the future and fully unlocking the potential of domestic unconventional deposits, ” explained Jacek Krawiec, President of the PKN ORLEN Management Board.
The geological properties of Polish shale and the results of appraisals and tests carried out to date clearly show that the average estimated gas production from wells drilled into shale formations may be relatively low. In addition to the geological factors, the commercial viability of shale gas projects in Poland is also strongly affected by the high costs of exploration activities, partly due to the depth of shale formations (more than 3,000 metres below ground level) and an inadequate geological database for the region.
“The results of exploration work conducted since 2009 have provided evidence that the Polish geological setting varies greatly and is much more demanding than that of shale basins found in North America. This means that recovery techniques used on the other side of the Atlantic are not suitable for immediate use in Poland. We are departing from the generally applicable and widely recognised techniques to develop our own innovative methods of tapping into unconventional resources. Based on the accumulated experience, not only are we able to identify the differences in well stimulation in Poland, but also the factors which adversely affect the results achieved so far,” noted Wiesław Prugar, President of the ORLEN Upstream Management Board.
The idea behind the ShaleScience conference, founded by ORLEN Upstream back in 2011, is to provide a forum for sharing knowledge and practical experience, geared towards enhancing the expertise and knowledge we need to be able to recover hydrocarbons from shale.
The key topics for discussion during this year's ShaleScience gathering, entitled 'Evolution of the Notion of Shale Gas Stimulation', will be:
- comparative analysis of the lower Paleozoic geological formations in Poland with their rare analogues (rock formations featuring similar geological properties) found in North America
- design and execution of shale stimulation treatment specific to the Baltic, Lublin and Podlasie basins
- environmental challenges of hydraulic fracturing at the exploration and appraisal stage of a project