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Poland's government drafts law to support shale gas exploration and limit dependence on Russia

Poland's prime minister says the government has adopted a draft law designed to speed up shale gas exploration and reduce dependence on Russian supplies.

Donald Tusk said Tuesday the draft law will simplify and accelerate license procedures for companies. Poland's security and the company's experience will be the main criteria in estimating whether to grant licenses.

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.

Poland, which meets about 70 percent of its energy needs by importing Russian gas, is seeking to exploit its shale gas deposits, but complicated legislation has been an obstacle and helped discourage some foreign energy firms.

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