Poland's Baltic Ceramics Investments is issuing shares to help fund construction of a factory that will produce a high-tech substance used in fracking.
WARSAW, May 27 (Reuters) - Poland's Baltic Ceramics Investments is issuing shares to help fund construction of a factory that will produce a high-tech substance used in fracking, part of a developing supply chain for eastern Europe's shale gas sector.
The company plans to produce ceramic proppants, tiny and almost indestructible engineered spherical balls that are injected deep underground to help push oil and gas to the surface, part of the process called hydraulic fracturing.
"We will have the first such factory in the European Union," Dariusz Janus, head of IndygoTech Minerals, the holding company controlling Baltic Ceramics Investments told Reuters.
Ceramic proppants, which can withstand high temperatures and pressures, are used to keep the fractures in the shale rock open, especially if deposits are more difficult to tap, which experts say is the case in Poland.
Over 50 exploratory shale wells have been drilled so far in Poland, and experts say that dozens more are required to determine whether large-scale commercial production of shale gas is viable.
That means millions of dollars of spending on exploration, which has already led United Oilfield Services to open a logistics base in Poland in August last year. U.S. giant Halliburton is also constructing a hub for Polish operations.
Baltic Ceramics wants to have the factory up and running in the second half of 2015. It has made successful tests of its product in the United States and is ordering equipment for the factory, Janus said.
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