"The technology we are using here is completely safe and there is no possibility for any contamination," said Jadwiga Swiecicka, spokeswoman for Talisman in Poland.
The company held meetings with local authorities and with residents before the drilling and has faced "a mixed approach, often skeptical," chiefly due to water safety concerns, she acknowledged.
"But there are also many people who see it as a chance for the region, a stimulus, new workplaces and additional income for local firms," she said.
Standing in his vegetable garden, some 300 meters (1,000 feet) from the rig, Piotr Puacz, a jobless electrician, had no complaints.
"This is the only alternative to coal and oil, running short and rising in prices," he said. "My dogs and passing cars are more noisy," he said.
In a few recent cases, Moscow has turned off the taps in price disputes with Ukraine, while this past winter it cut exports amid a bitter cold spell across Russia and much of Europe. Many Poles are deeply resentful of their dependence on Russia, 23 years after rejecting Moscow-backed communist rule.
Puacz hopes that if sufficient gas is found, the exploratory rig will be taken down and the well will be connected to Poland's network, helping to satisfy demand.
"We should not be buying (gas) somewhere abroad, where others are dictating the terms and the prices," Puacz said. "We should have our own reserves."
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