Six months later, however, the challenge from shale gas to Gazprom’s European energy dominance looks to be waning.
In a further blow to Poland’s hopes of breaking free from dependence on Russian imports, ExxonMobil this week pulled out of Polish shale gas exploration after disappointing flow rates from test wells.
The fact that Exxon - which never was an important actor in Poland - is pulling out, has no major significance for Poland. Many other companies are still continuing with their exploration efforts, and the latest reports by e.g. San Leon Energy look promising.
But even if Polish shale gas would be of smaller importance than previously thought, the larger picture of shale gas must be causing panic in the Gazprom boardrooms - and in the Kremlin: