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Lithuania's shale gas potential among highest in Central-Eastern Europe

Andriaus Ufarto/BFL nuotr. / Dujos
Šaltinis: BNS

Lithuania's shale gas development potential is among the highest in Central and Eastern Europe, the global auditing, tax, and business consulting firm KPMG claims in a study.

Lithuania is placed in KPGM's Shale Gas Potential Index in CEE after Poland, Romania, and Ukraine.

"The results of the KPMG index showed that Lithuania is among the most attractive countries for shale gas production due to its potentially significant reserves and favorable investment environment. The US company Chevron's arrival in Lithuania and attention paid to Lithuania by the Polish group Lotos together with another US company, CalEnergy Resources, prove that Lithuania's shale gas reserves are interesting to large international players as well," Rokas Kasperavičius, a KPMG partner, said in a press release on Wednesday.

According to the study, "Poland, Romania, and Ukraine have the highest shale gas development potential, followed by Lithuania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, which, while having good initial indications of unconventional gas reserves, have somewhat lower potential than their larger neighbors."

The Central and Eastern European region is heavily dependent on natural gas imports, with around 70 percent of regional natural gas consumption covered by imports, of which more than 90 percent comes from Russia. Demand for natural gas in the region between 2010 and 2015 is expected to increase by 3.6 percent. Lithuania's natural gas consumption is forecast to reach 4.71 billion cubic meters by 2030, up from the current 2.5-3 billion cubic meters, KPMG said.

Companies interested in extracting shale gas and other hydrocarbons in Lithuania include Minijos Nafta, a local oil production company that is partially owned by Poland's Lotos, as well as Lotos Geonafta, Lithuania's biggest oil production and exploration company that is owned by Lotos, and the US energy company Chevron.

Chevron has recently bought a 50 percent stake in LL Investicijos, a local company that has an oil field in Western Lithuania, and Lotos Geonafta plans to increase its stake in Manifoldas, another local oil producer, to 100 percent, from the current 50 percent, by the end of the year.

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