Chevron: European shale in early stage

April 3, 2013 at 7:31 AM

LONDON, April 3 (UPI) -- It may be at least a decade before Chevron starts to see benefits of European shale natural gas development, the company's regional vice president said.

Chevron began a shale gas exploration campaign in Romania in 2010 and completed seismic programs in 2011 before a ban was enacted there last year.

Chevron regional Vice President Ian MacDonald told the Platts energy news service that the company's interest in European shale was broad, however.

"Chevron has focused on Eastern Europe for shale gas as we wanted a position across the geological trend that covers Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Lithuania and Bulgaria," MacDonald said from London. "Exploration wells are under way but there is no fracking yet."

Critics of hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, express concerns over environmental issues ranging from groundwater contamination to land reclamation. Lithuania was the site of a recent protest on concerns about the practice.

MacDonald said any hydraulic fracturing campaign in the region was a few years off.

"But it might be 10-15 years for full commercialization," he said. "We are at the early stages of our shale gas activities in Eastern Europe."

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