The Russians and the European enviro-fundamentalists are doing their best in order to stop the US-led shale gas revolution in Eastern Europe, but they are not going to succeed. Shale gas offers a unique chance for Europe to get rid of the dependence on Gazprom deliveries.
The same technology that brought the lowest natural gas prices to U.S. consumers since 2002 is being unleashed in Eastern Europe, threatening to reduce Russia’s grip on the region’s energy supplies.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM), Chevron Corp. (CVX) and Talisman Energy Inc. (TLM) are among companies leading the drive to unlock gas trapped in shale rocks from Poland to Bulgaria that may be enough to meet regional demand for almost 80 years, according to the Energy Information Administration. Poland, the hub of the wildcatting, has completed seven wells out of 124 planned, and the results are being assessed now.
A successful drilling campaign would redraw the energy map across Europe, a continent now reliant on Russia for about a quarter of its natural gas. The efforts to find more gas are taking on greater urgency as Germany plans to phase out nuclear energy and limits tighten on emissions of carbon dioxide blamed for global warming.
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