Exxon to Invest Millions in German Gas Exploration -Report

BERLIN (Dow Jones Newswires), Jan. 24, 2011

U.S. energy giant Exxon said it planned to invest hundreds of millions of euros in Germany to tap what are estimated to be vast quantities of natural gas reserves, in an interview to be published Monday.

The chairman of Exxon Mobil Central Europe, Gernot Kalkoffen, told German business daily Handelsblatt that the company believed the state of North Rhine-Westphalia had huge amounts of gas to drill.

"We are planning an amount clearly in the six-figure zone during the exploration phase," he said, when asked how much Exxon would invest.

NRW, which was once the heart of the German coal industry, could have the second largest reserves in Europe with 2.1 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, Handelsblatt said.

Kalkoffen said the amount invested would depend on the concentration of gas and how efficiently it could be extracted.

"If we're lucky, we could see billions (of euros) flow."

Handelsblatt said a total of nine companies aimed had secured options for test drilling in NRW.

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