Commercial production of Poland’s shale gas reserves, estimated at 5.3 trillion m³, may begin as soon as 2014, said its prime minister Donald Tusk on 18 September.

Poland is eager to break its heavy reliance on Russian gas and has awarded 90 exploration licences to firms such as Chevron and ExxonMobil for developing reserves that a study by the US Energy Information Administration identified as among Europe’s largest.

“With moderated optimism we think that in 2014 there will be commercial extraction, so really just around the corner,” said Tusk.

He added that by 2035, Poland, which relies almost entirely on gas from Russia, may be able to mainly use its own source.

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