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.