Gazprom says shale gas poses environmental risks
LONDON Feb 9 (Reuters) - Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom warned of environmental risks from shale gas drilling in the United States and Europe on Tuesday, but said it expected its gas to be able to compete with shale gas prices even if production expands.
Last week, Gazprom said it was delaying development of the Shtokman field, one of the world's largest, which it hoped would supply liquefied natural gas to the United States, citing expansion of U.S. shale gas production and the subsequent fall in U.S. gas prices.
"This technology endangers drinking water," Gazprom's deputy chief executive, Alexander Medvedev, said.
Shale gas production involves extracting gas from rock through the use of hydraulic fracturing -- where water, sand and chemicals are pumped into formations at pressures high enough to crack the rock and allow gas to escape.
Environmentalists and critics say the drilling chemicals have polluted aquifers in Pennsylvania and Colorado and can cause cancer and other serious illnesses.
Medvedev said Gazprom was keenly awaiting the results of investigations by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency into shale gas drilling.
Medvedev said last year that Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, aimed to take a 10 percent share of the U.S. natural gas market within five years, largely by exporting LNG, but analysts say the expansion of shale gas production makes this unlikely.
Much of the gas was supposed to come from Shtokman, which has been delayed for three years. Medvedev said that phase 1 of the project was still targeting production of 23.6 billion cubic metres a year.
He declined to confirm the $15 billion budget for the first phase as he said it was possible this could rise 25 percent to 30 percent. (Reporting by Tom Bergin; Editing by Walter Bagley)
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this
- Bodies, black boxes handed over from Ukraine crash site
- India keeps world guessing in countdown to landmark trade pact deadline
- India to probe corruption in healthcare after TV sting
- Modi's BJP puts political twist on local sex abuse case
- China food scandal spreads, drags in Starbucks, Burger King and McNuggets in Japan
Consumer Confidence Index
More than half of consumers globally expect job prospects to be good to excellent in the year ahead, a survey showed on Tuesday. India overtook Indonesia as the most optimistic consumer market, while Portugal and Slovenia were the most pessimistic. Full Article
India keeps world guessing in countdown to landmark trade pact deadline. Full Article
Yahoo to buy analytics startup Flurry to bolster mobile ad business. Full Article