Eastern European Energy Security: Is Europe Next for a Shale Boom?
Across the Atlantic, the Shale boom has redistributed and revaluated the US oil & gas market. With this allowing the US to quickly become a world leader in natural gas, European economies in need of a boost are becoming eager to bolster their own energy independence follow suit.
Shell plan to spend more than $400 million to utilise Ukrainian shale, with Chevron having similar ambitions in eastern Romania. While regional shale gas production isn’t going to match that seen in the United States, it’s expected to eventually ensure these growing economies break into energy security and weaken Russian socio-political grip on the region’s energy sector.
The U.S. Energy Department’s Energy Information Administration estimates that, together, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania may hold many trillion cubic feet of shale natural gas. Which soon became more than enough to give U.S. super major Chevron the confidence to move an exploration campaign there.
However in many of these nations environmental and local government permits are needed to move forward with any shale campaign. In parts of Europe, nearly 70 percent of the gas consumption is covered by imports and as much as 90 percent of that is from Russia.
Recently though KPMG stated in a 2012 audit that shale gas production in Eastern Europe may eventually contain Russia and lead to energy security for eastern Europe.
The audit stated that though “Shale gas production will not reach the same volumes as those of North America, it is expected to be a competitively-priced source of energy, as compared to that of imported Russian conventional gas,”
Is Eastern Europe facing a shale future towards energy security?
How will the face of European energy shift when realising the next shale boom?
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