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Govt. to scrap energy resources operator

6th February 2014
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The government has dropped plans to create National Energy Resources Operator


Poland’s Council of Ministers is expected to reject a motion to call up the National Energy Resources Operator (NOKE) when it convenes in two weeks’ time. 

The move comes as the cabinet is likely to change regulations on shale gas concessions by streamlining procedures, as put forward Wednesday by Prime Minister Donald Tusk and Environment Minister Maciej Grabowski. 
Speaking at an environment ministry press conference, Tusk said that the shale gas bill, the drafting of which has been sluggish, would increase safety as well as attract large-scale investments. 
“We are talking about tens of billions of złoty which have to be spent before shale gas becomes a commercial enterprise,” Tusk said, as quoted by the Polish Press Agency. 
The government has decided to scrap NOKE as a result, with Tusk reflecting “whether such a ‘super-institution’ … should be set up.” 
The decision not to go ahead with NOKE was recommended by Grabowski, Tusk said, saying that instead, a greater onus will be placed on the State Mining Authority (WUG) as well as continued environmental controls and other supervisory instruments. 
Grabowski added that shale concession regulations will be simplified. “At the moment, in order to get to the stage of extraction, two concession are needed – we propose just one,” he said. 
Previous plans presented at the end of 2012 proposed that NOKE would be a strategic company wholly-owned by the State Treasury.

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