Good news for Russian giant Gazprom.
Although Europe has could have shale gas reserves amounting to potentially five times current proven natural gas reserves, they won’t be tapping them any time soon, say industry analysts.
While geologists say Europe may have similar fields spread from northwest England to Ukraine, drilling them profitably will prove a whole lot harder.
Getting the shale gas out requires drilling hundreds of wells and blasting the rock with water and chemicals, raising environmental objections in densely populated Europe. Those obstacles suggest Russia’s OAO Gazprom, supplier of 25 per cent of Europe’s gas, will have plenty of customers for its fuel pumped through new pipelines across the Baltic and Black Seas.
“There is a great future for Russian gas in Europe,” John Barry, a strategic issues manager at Royal Dutch Shell Plc, said in an interview. “There is a lot of unconventional gas in Europe, but it’s a very, very early part of the story.” Shell has already faced public opposition to plans to explore in Sweden for shale gas.