EU Embracing Shale Gas Alternative Following Crimea Crisis

Written by | Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

The Crimea crisis should serve as a “wake-up call” for states reliant on Russian gas and this is why energy independence and a support for production of shale gas should top Europe’s political agenda, said British Prime Minister, David Cameron, while EU leaders were expected to ask the visiting US President, Barack Obama, today (26 March) to quickly pass the legislature that would allow the United States to export more of its shale gas to Europe. Escalating East-West tensions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine have put in risk the energy security of some European states, including Germany, which are heavily dependent on Russian gas supplies.
While David Cameron explicitly warned that “some countries are almost 100% reliant on Russian gas, so I think it is something of a wake-up call”, leaders attending the G7 summit of major industrialized nations agreed to work together to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas. To that end, the reserves of shale gas in south-eastern Europe, Poland and England have been highlighted as a means of boosting energy independence for the whole region. “I think it’s a good opportunity,” said the British Prime Minister and added that “energy independence, using all these different sources of energy, should be a tier one political issue from now on, rather than tier five.”
The extraction of shale gas has been banned outright in Bulgaria and France, while in the UK has been delayed by public protests over the environmental impact of the technique called fracking, which involves blasting underground rock with high pressure liquid to release trapped gas. Last week, EU leaders agreed to speed up their search for more secure energy supplies by looking to import gas from the US and combining their purchasing power to gain a greater leverage for the bloc in its negotiations with Moscow.

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