Poland’s bid to become independent of Russian energy via shale gas exploration has taken a hit after seven men have been arrested over corruption resulting from exploration contracts.
The AP reports that government officials are among the arrested with corruption being investigated in the awarding of licenses for shale gas exploration. It has been reported that bribes of tens of thousands of dollars exchanged hands in the second half of 2011.
One of those arrested is said to be the official in charge of distributing licenses. Over 100 licenses have been issued with the country believed to have substantial shale gas deposits.
As is the case in other nations, shale gas exploration faces controversy due to the fracking process used to collect the fuel. Despite these risks Poland is still determined to achieve what it describes as “gas security” by 2035. It currently relies on Russian natural gas as well as burning coal for the majority of its energy.