Chevron takes lead in Lithuanian shale

Jan. 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM

VILNIUS, Lithuania, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The Lithuanian government said Chevron would need to invest about $31 million in the country if awarded shale natural gas acreage there.

Chevron's subsidiary in Lithuania was the only company to bid for shale exploration rights in the Silute-Taurage field in the west of the country, reports Bloomberg News, citing regional media.

Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine are among Eastern European countries eying potential shale gas reserves. The U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimated in 2011 that Lithuania may hold as much as 4 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale natural gas reserves.

Bloomberg reports that the government estimates that Chevron would need to invest at least $31 million in the field if the bid for western Lithuanian acreage is accepted.

Chevron stated that last year it acquired a 50 percent equity stake in Lithuanian company LL Investicijos.

Lithuanian shale could satisfy the country's demand for natural gas for the next 20 years. Countries in the region are looking to break the grip that Russia has on the energy sector. Last year, the European Commission launched a monopoly probe into Russian energy company Gazprom's operations in the region.

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