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The Potential of Spanish Shale Gas

The invasion and annexation of Crimea has EU policymakers scrambling to improve energy security. The European Commission hopes to publish a roadmap by June 2014 that will spell out how exactly Europe can rid itself of Russian gas. Meanwhile, member states are not going to wait. That means not only trying to find other suppliers around the world (U.S. LNG), but also developing Europe’s domestic energy resources. Poland has been the strongest proponent of exploiting European shale gas as an alternative to imported Russian gas. British Prime Minister David Cameron has strongly favored the same approach in the U.K.

Spain is also hoping to get into the mix. Spain has been a nonfactor when it comes to energy production, largely dependent on imports. The Iberian nation is the fourth largest importer of LNG in the world, and relies upon imported oil and gas to meet 99% of demand.

   

But the success of the American shale gas revolution and the urgency with which Europe now wants to develop its own energy resources has the Spanish government pushing hard on shale gas. A new report from Deloitte suggests that Spain does in fact have sizable shale gas resources and could turn itself into a net exporter of natural gas if they chose to exploit them. Spain’s oil and gas reserves have been tough to access using conventional drilling methods, but with the proven techniques used to tap shale in the U.S., Spain thinks it can do the same. The report estimates…

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