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Putin is Pleased
The European Shale Retreat Continues

Yet another oil major is calling it quits on European shale. Chevron is giving up on the pursuit of favorable contract concessions with the Romanian government, keeping with the pattern of a broad pull-back across Europe on what once looked like promising shale projects. The WSJ reports:

In a setback to Europe’s nascent shale-gas industry, Chevron Corp. said Friday it is relinquishing its interests in shale-gas concessions in Romania, the U.S. oil giant’s last shale-gas project in Europe.

It follows Chevron’s announcement last month that it was quitting shale-exploration activities in Poland. Last year Chevron terminated shale-gas agreements in Lithuania and Ukraine.

It’s not easy to follow in the footsteps of the United States on shale production. Companies interested in European shale have been stymied by geology, complicated regulations, local protests, and government moratoriums, and whatever momentum there once was seems to be completely gone at this point.

That has to put a smile on Putin’s face. After all, one of the biggest reasons European policymakers were gung-ho about fracking to begin with was its potential to reduce their dependence on Russian energy supplies. Failures like Chevron’s in Romania only help to keep the energy status quo in Europe: a heavy reliance on Moscow’s hydrocarbons, along with all the strings that come attached.

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  • Fat_Man

    I am sure that the price crunch in oil and gas has not helped either.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    It just doesn’t make sense to develop in places like Europe with all their problems, when America remains far from fully developed and in fact development of public lands hasn’t even been touched due to Obama’s intransigence. Development in America generally only requires the agreement of the private land owner leaving the Government mostly no say at all.

    • Corlyss

      Stupid Europeans. They don’t get it that some of their problems would be relieved by jobs and production. Fine with me if they continue down this road. Eventually they’ll have no choice but to change, but in the interim we benefit in a number of ways. I just wish we’d stop worrying about them and let ’em sink. Nothing like imminent collapse to sharpen the mind of an individual, but it seems that it only activates an urge to kick cans in national leaders.

  • Andrew Allison

    Given current prices and regulatory environments, it doesn’t make sense to engage in costly exploration ventures. This environment is unlikely to change as long as Europe can import LNG and tolerate Russia’s grip on their gonads. As JL points out, there’s plenty of opportunity elsewhere.

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