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Americans eyeing European shale

December 15, 2009
TOPICS: Natural gas
The success of natural gas production from shale formations has two U.S. companies heading overseas.

ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil are headed to Poland in hopes of turning the country that imports 72 percent of its gas into an exporter of the fuel.

From the Houston Chronicle:

"We looked at a number of countries in Europe and through Asia,” a Marathon executive vice president, David Roberts, told investors in a presentation last month after the company obtained its license. “Poland bubbled up to the top of our list.”

Shale projects contributed to a drop in U.S. gas prices from a 2008 high of more than $13 per million British thermal units to a 2009 average of about $4.

If the 430 million-year-old Silurian shale that stretches through Poland proves to be “an economic resource,” 48 trillion cubic feet of gas could be recovered over decades, according to Rhodri Thomas, a project adviser at Wood Mackenzie in Scotland. That much gas would sell for more than $240 billion at current futures prices.

 
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