The Lithuanian government has estimated that its country’s recoverable shale reserves could be up to 120 billion cubic meters. This revelation has sparked interest in E&A activities throughout Lithuania.
The Polish company, Lotos, appears to be the company most economically suited to begin operations in Lithuania: 53% of Lotos is owned by the Polish government, which in turn controls Lithuania’s preeminent oil company, Lotos Geonafta as well as having a 50% stake in another Lithuanian company, Minijos Nafta.
Lotos already has obtained official approval to begin drilling for conventional oil reserves and the job of shale exploration will be handed out to Minijos Nafta. Whilst in Lithuania, there is no permit required to drill for shale hydrocarbons specifically, government officials have stated that there may be environmental criteria that would have to be met.
Pawel Olechnowizc, Loto’s chief executive said “We decided to start with the first drilling for shale gas or shale oil, let’s see what is underground.” Olechnowizc also said that the first tests would be conducted this year, though he declined to provide any more specifics.
Poland itself has estimated reserves of up to 5.3 trillion cubic meters of recoverable shale; the largest in Europe.