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20110509-Europe’s shale gas bonanza__Don’t believe the hype

20110509-Europe’s shale gas bonanza__Don’t believe the hype

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Published by: Schaliegas on May 24, 2011
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Europe’s shale gas bonanza? Don’tbelieve the hype
Published: 09 May 2011 | Updated: 10 May 2011While Europe is becoming ever more enthusiastic about shale gas, domestic production of this controversial energy source is unlikely to become a genuine game-changer for the EUany time soon, writes Roderick Kefferpütz, a research fellow at the Centre for EuropeanPolicy Studies (CEPS).
This commentary was sent to EurActiv by Roderick Kefferpütz, an associate research fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and a political advisor to German Green MEP Reinhard Bütikofer in the European Parliament.Kefferpütz is also an associate at Berlin-based think-tank 'stiftung neue verantwortung'.
"Shale gas has undoubtedly been a game-changer in the United States, where it hastransformed the US gas market and contributed to a global gas glut. While its share of USgas production was still in single digits in 2000, now, a decade later, shale gas isresponsible for about 20% of domestic production. But can this success story really beexported to other regions, such as the European Union?Hanging on the coattails of this American dream, energy majors such as ExxonMobil andShell have bought up prime shale acreage and first steps towards production are beingtaken. Cuadrilla Resources spudded the first well in the UK last August, while noteworthydrilling activities are also expected to take place this year in Germany, France and Poland.In this context, it is unsurprising that Europe's enthusiasm for shale gas has grown apaceover the past year. However, the fact of the matter is that it is unlikely that the domesticproduction of shale gas will become a true game-changer for the EU any time soon.First, the EU lacks an experienced drilling workforce and equipment. The US itself isactually now starting to face such bottlenecks. According to US industry players, it isbecoming increasingly difficult to find a fracturing crew, especially one at a decent price,at the Eagle Ford shale play, for example, as pressure pumping equipment has not keptup with demand.If the US is already confronted with such constraints, how will Europe fare, where shale
Europes shale gas bonanza? Dont believe the hypehttp://www.euractiv.com/en/print/energy/europe-shale-gas-bona...1 of 224/05/11 14:51

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