Czech Republic Among The Latest To Explore Shale Gas

August 18, 2011
The controversial process of extracting natural gas from shale rock may soon be headed for the Czech Republic as exploration efforts across Europe continue. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has already made its mark on the U.S. energy industry, where shale gas has grown to account for 25 percent of natural gas supplies in just a decade.

The Czech Republic is starting its own exploration for shale-gas reserves on the heels of reports that supplies in Poland could be as much as 5.3 trillion cubic meters (tcm) of shale gas, and total unconventional gas supplies make up about 4.6 percent of the world supply. The Environment Ministry has said it plans to commission a survey to determine shale-gas levels, and British companies Cuadrilla and Basgas have submitted applications to start researching supplies in the coming months.

Cuadrilla has acquired a 946 square kilometer tract near Olomouc, according to the Environment Ministry, based on data that "suggests the shale characteristics of the Czech Republic are analogous to those of other basins in Europe which are being actively explored," said Charlene McAuley, a junior account executive at Cuadrilla.

Basgas has applied to explore a 93 square kilometer area between Prague and Beroun, and a 777.54 square kilometer tract in the Trutnov slate formation in north Bohemia based on the discovery of shale that shares characteristics with "successful plays in North America," said Anna Maio, corporate communications manager at Basgas.

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