EU warned against relying on shale gas, urged to invest in Russian project

Russian Gas Facility file photo

(Interfax – Moscow, 20 November) The European Commission’s investigation makes one wonder whether Brussels wants to be receiving Russian gas in increasing amounts, the deputy chairman of Gazprom’s board, Aleksandr Medvedev, told the Russia’s Gas forum.

“The European Commission recently began an investigation in relation to Gazprom group (RTS: GAZP) and some of its partners, which makes one wonder whether Brussels wants to be getting Russian gas in increasing amounts?” said he.

Medvedev said Europe will need these (additional) amounts because, according to a consensus forecast, by 2030 it will need 140bn cubic metres, in addition to what it currently has. “It is possible that someone intends to satisfy demand by developing shale gas. However, I would not draw hasty conclusions. The experience accumulated in the gas industry shows that between the exploration of a deposit and its commissioning there is a passage of time, sometimes a lot of time,” said Medvedev.

Besides, he said, “not only are shale gas projects in densely-populated Europe yet to start, there is no unanimous view about shale gas itself. In any case, the cost of its production will be higher than that of traditional gas”.

He is convinced that Russian “blue” fuel will remain competitive. “Lack of understanding, or to be precise, the European Commission’s reserved attitude to Southern Stream is, to put it mildly, unconstructive. Various governments are now viewing infrastructure projects as a way to fight to the crisis. Southern Stream could come to be the largest investment project for participating countries,” the deputy chairman of board of Gazprom said.