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EU Fears a US Shale Oil Boom could Make Competition Impossible

A US industrial boost following its ability to tap abundant shale gas reserves is provoking fears that imperilled energy-intensive European businesses will find it harder than ever to compete.

But calls for the EU to deliver a 'silver bullet' and emulate the US by tapping shale gas through 'fracking' remain controversial because of environmental and logistical concerns.

Partly due to its shale reserves, the United States is expected to become almost self-sufficient in oil and gas by 2035 and will overtake Russia in gas production by 2015 and Saudi Arabia in oil production by 2017, a recent International Energy Agency forecast shows.

Related Article: Romania and the Shale Question

Advances in drilling and fracturing techniques enabling easier access to gas supplies have led to significant falls in US gas prices since the start of 2010, whilst European prices remain stubbornly high.

Industrial manufacturers have announced investments of more than $90 billion (€68 billion) in the United States to take advantage of its cheap natural gas, according to calculations that underline the revolutionary impact of shale gas on US industrial growth.

Astonishing impact on the US economy

Petrochemicals, fuel, fertiliser and steel companies, attracted by cheap energy are amongst those committed to multi-billion dollar investments, according to Dow Chemical, which has announced a €3 billion investment in Texas and Louisiana and calculated the total value of US industrial investments at $90 billion or more, the Financial Times reported in December.

Related Article: Betting on Mediterranean Shale: 3 Plays, 1 Winner

The development has spurred fear amongst concerned European manufacturers that they will be unable to compete in energy intensive sectors. It is clear that industry such as steelmaking, currently slumping in the EU, is shifting towards the United States after decades of decline.

By. EurActive via ENN




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  • Philip on January 24 2013 said:
    You know, even just on this website there are so many articles telling us what a boom shale exploitation will be and the US will overtake this and that, they really are overselling themselves.

    The more they push it the less I'm inclined to beliueve a word they say. Its what's called 'overkill', only the proponents of shale don't seem to recognise this, which makles me wonder what else they're blind to.

    The proof of the pudding isdn't in billions of useless words written, but in realities on the ground. The real experts on this website have said what the drawbacks to shale are, and they present to my mimnd a more realistic picture.

    I thsnk them for cutting through the advertising fog and helping us to understand the rrealities more clearly.
  • Venerability on January 27 2013 said:
    This is really very Bullish for the push to produce more and more energy from West Africa, dominated by the big Europeans.

    It explains why Gabon is now being touted as a major Hot Spot for a future energy boom, along with standbys Nigeria and Angola and Equatorial Guinea.
  • The Tom on March 06 2013 said:
    Hey for one Philip, learn to spell or proof read, and if you were in the oil industry you would know how many companies are selling assets to research and produce shale oil in the US. Soon there will be no Hess gas stations since they are moving in to a shale oil research firm. Dodge is producing a propane truck, and waste management is dedicated to an all CNG truck fleet.In the next decade there will be more than just ethanol , gasoline, and bio-fuel at the pump in the U.S.; The only thing in the way is protest sponsored in part by OPEC. They are afraid that their time is over, and since their main economic resource is crude they are willing to pay American celebrities to go out and say pushing natural chemicals and mud down past the water table where drilling couldn't reach ten years ago is a bad thing and will lead to your water catching on fire. the question is if this were true why isn't black crude flowing in to your homes from the early 1900s to now. please realize these companies don't want to be sued like BP and they plan on safe methods to keep their profits.

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