Opposition, Disappointing Data Wither Europe's Shale Gas Prospects
PRAGUE/LONDON, Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. energy major Chevron's decision to stop exploring for shale gas in Poland has highlighted the sector's uncertain future and role in strengthening energy security in Europe, analysts said on Monday.
A shale gas boom in the United States over the past few years has reduced its energy dependence, but Europe is in the early stages of development and no commercial drilling has yet started.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration has estimated Europe could hold trillions of cubic metres of recoverable shale gas but it is still uncertain where reserves are located, how large they are and whether they are commercially viable.
In fact, revisions to estimates of technically recoverable resources, disappointing outcomes and growing opposition to shale gas have reduced the hype about development prospects in Europe.
The surge in U.S. shale oil and gas production has also caused a large build in global supplies at a time of low demand, contributing to a sharp fall in crude oil prices since June last year.
"I don't know any serious person who thinks Europe is going to have a shale gas revolution in 15 years at least. It's just not going to happen, there are too many barriers to it," Paul Stevens, distinguished fellow at London-based think tank Chatham House said.
"All we are seeing now is a few final nails in the proverbial coffin."
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