Chevron bucks European trend on shale gas

Oct. 26, 2012 at 7:20 AM

LONDON, Oct. 26 (UPI) -- U.S. supermajor Chevron said it has an upbeat forecast on the shale gas potential in Lithuania after taking a stake in an energy company there.

Chevron announced it took a 50 percent stake in Lithuania's private oil and natural gas exploration company LL Investicijos. Derek Magness, a director of Chevron's operations in Europe, told The New York Times the acquisition was part of a move to expand Chevron's regional footprint.

"We believe Lithuania is going to be a good host government," he said.

Poland is among the Eastern European countries eyeing potential shale gas reserves along with Ukraine and Lithuania. The Polish government estimates it has as much as 3.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, lower than the 187 trillion cubic feet estimated by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Magness said from London that it was difficult to get an assessment of the shale natural gas potential in the region because of a lack of exploration. Exxon this year abandoned its efforts in Poland, saying it didn't look like prospects there were commercially viable.

Chevron, however, said it remains optimistic about the region.

"I am not seeing anything that would tell me to pull the drill bit up and go away," Magness told the Times.

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