As part of the Ifri Energy Breakfast Roundtable, a seminar with Don Gautier, U.S. Geological Survey, Ewa Zalewska, Director of the Department of Geology and Geological Concessions, Ministry of the Environment, Poland, Hans Van der Loo, Head of European Union Lia.ison Office. Chaired by William C. Ramsay, Senior Fellow and Director of the Ifri Energy Program and Jacques Lesourne, Chairman of the scientific Committee of the Ifri Energy Program.
When gas prices in the US were running around $15 per million BTU ($570 1000 cubic meters), gas developers saw an opportunity to extract gas from shale, which had been too expensive up to then. The gas started to flow, the technology started to improve, the costs came down and enormous quantities of gas came into the market at costs of roughly $6 per million BTU. The deposits in the US are vast and subsoil ownership facilitates access. There are problems and environmental concerns, but projections are for shale gas to play an important role in US gas supply. Could the same thing happen in Europe?
Could new sources of European indigenous gas reverse Europe's gas decline? Could Russian influence in European markets be mitigated by shale gas?
There are many important differences between Europe and America, but still there is a European potential that needs to be explored. This session will outline the current state of the shale gas phenomenon in America, identify its challenges and limitations and seek parallels or differences with Europe.