Poland’s government has adopted a draft law designed to speed up shale gas exploration and reduce dependence on Russian supplies, the Prime Minister said on Tuesday. Poland, which imports about 70 per cent of its gas from Russia, is seeking to exploit its shale gas deposits, but complicated legislation has been an obstacle and discouraged some foreign energy firms.

Donald Tusk said that Ukraine’s conflict with gas supplier Russia adds to the importance of the legislation. Put on fast track, it could take effect this year. Mr. Tusk said the draft law will simplify and accelerate license procedures for companies.

A number of major international exploring firms have given up on shale gas in Poland in the past due to tough licensing terms and lack of sufficient data on deposits. — AP