Gas & Petroleum

The identification of shale gas basins across CEE has the entire region reconsidering the solution to its gas demands. Poland leads with the largest reserve in Europe, its Ministry of Environment awarding concessions to companies working in the sector and encouraging independence from Russian imports. Set to become the first EU member to produce shale gas, the country could generate enough to satisfy its increasing gas demands for 35 to 65 years.

Similarly, Romania, whose natural gas deposits under the Black Sea are estimated to be the third largest in Europe, is set to become the largest shale gas producer in CEE, with the government lifting a moratorium on exploration and the National Agency for Mineral Resources launching a study to determine levels. Slovenia’s discovery of gas reserves are poised to make its market significantly less dependent on imports, while Croatia’s unconventional gas reserve discoveries in the Drava Depression, as well as Serbia’s explorations offer more new opportunity for investment.

Lithuania and Latvia are also looking to faze-out their vulnerable trade relations with their sole natural gas supplier, Russia’s Gazprom. Coupled with a favourable political climate, these Baltic countries are working to revise taxation and environmental protection policies in order to persuade companies –such as U.S.’s Chervon Corp., to invest in its shale gas reserves. Bulgaria remains in a similar position, aiming to ease its 69 per cent reliance on Russian imports. The only Baltic country to remain quiet about its shale gas industry plans is Estonia, likely due to its low and sustainable consumption of natural gas.