Russia Sees Shale Gas as Eventual Risk to Gazprom's Revenue

MOSCOW - Russia's economy ministry sees "serious" risks posed by shale gas to the revenue of Gazprom beginning in 2014, as higher supply from the nontraditional hydrocarbons may hurt prices and demand for Russia's pipeline gas.

"Gazprom had undervalued the importance of shale gas, but is starting to look at it seriously," Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said Tuesday as he presented a weaker outlook for the country in 2012 and beyond.

Russia satisfies about a quarter of Europe's demand for gas, which generates revenue for the budget.

Mr. Klepach added that the ministry also saw a lower outlook for gas prices in Europe, driven by both the euro-zone economic crisis and a higher supply of shale oil and gas from other sources.

Gazprom's top managers have for years said that shale gas production would never threaten demand for Russian gas.

Gazprom has recently started to change its view and set up a committee to look into whether to develop shale-gas projects.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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