AP Interview: Poland to have new regulations concerning shale gas production this year

Poland's Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski says a much-awaited law that will regulate shale gas production should be adopted this year, helping to develop the potentially lucrative sector.

Poland has been the most aggressive in Europe in pursuing shale gas, a form of natural gas that is trapped in rock and requires new technologies to extract. Environmental activists say the extraction process is highly polluting.

The government hopes shale gas will boost the economy, reduce dependence on Russian gas imports and cut energy prices. It estimates Poland's shale gas deposits may secure production for at least 25 years.

International companies are exploring for the gas but are waiting for the new law, which will regulate tax on production and terms of distribution, before they commit to a longer-term strategy.