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Poland moves to attract foreign shale gas companies with tax breaks

March 17, 2014

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Poland is thinking of implementing an extensive shale exploration and development plan that aims to reduce its energy dependence on Russia and boosts its own economy. The Polish government has presented a draft proposal for encouraging investment and development of shale oil reserves, including a six-year tax break period among other planned incentives, reports have said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration believes that Poland has the largest shale gas and oil reserves in the European Union, but these have not been explored so far and the country is largely dependent on energy supplies from Russia. With the tension surrounding Ukraine increasing and amid attempts by the EU to cut down on Russian energy domination in the region, the Polish government has decided to move ahead with its plans and have the parliament vote on the proposal soon.

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According to Prime Minister Donald Tusk, providing foreign investors with a tax break could prompt a wave of investment. He added that the incentives are likely to yield up to $5 billion in revenue between 2020 and 2029, while taxes by 2020 are not expected to exceed 40 percent of extraction income.

Earlier proposals that were discussed included state-backed exploration for shale gas but these plans were shelved last month, as policymakers decided in favor of licensing international companies to carry out the exploration activity, media reports revealed.

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