Tuesday, 19 April 2011

“Anytime you can give Russia’s Gazprom a snub, it’s probably a good thing,”

Shale gas is already now creating new and interesting cooperation possibilities between Poland and the US. And transatlantic energy cooperation could play a big role on the European level, too - unless the environmental movement succeeds in stopping, or seriously delaying shale gas exploration in Europe:

Still, even now, in the early stages, Poland’s embryonic shale industry has created a “completely new set of common interests” between the United States, whose companies have developed this technology, and Poland, said Michael Sessums, economic counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw.
Polish geologists are starting to work with U.S. companies and institutes, while Polish universities have initiated cooperation with American universities.
The U.S. seems keen on increasing the energy independence and security of Poland and the EU.
“Anytime you can give Russia’s Gazprom a snub, it’s probably a good thing,” said Mr. Pursell of the energy-focused investment bank. Diversifying supplies of natural gas away from Russia—which has cut off gas supplies amid pipeline disputes in two of the past five winters—isn’t just an issue for Poland, but for all of Europe, he added.
The Polish Geological Institute, working with the U.S. Geological Survey, will publish its own initial estimate of Poland’s shale gas reserves later this year.

Read the entire article here

What David Pursell (energy expert at Tudor Pickering, an energy-focused investment bank) said about giving Russian Gazprom "the snub" is essential. EU leaders should understand that shale gas is a unique possibility for Europe to get rid of its dependence on Russian gas. They should seize this opportunity, which also could enhance transatlantic relations in general.

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