U.S. oil supermajor Chevron believes that Central and Eastern Europe will warm up to fracking and throw support behind the company's exploration projects. For the governments and people in the region, shale drilling will pave the way to energy independence and huge economic benefits, according to Ian MacDonald, Chevron VP for Europe, Eurasia and the Middle East.
Citing an email from MacDonald, SFGate.com reported that Chevron intended to conduct exploration activities in the region for five years. This commitment is helping the company win over some governments. Although there will not be a shale gas boom on the magnitude seen in the U.S., Chevron remains confident that there are considerable opportunities in Central Europe. It is a region for which pre-existing geological data is scant and Chevron's current exploration activities will play an important role in the assessment of resource potential. With enough knowledge about the safe exploration and development of these hydrocarbon resources, Central European governments and citizens will support shale drilling in the region, MacDonald added.
Chevron does not appear to be concerned by the retreat of Exxon Mobil, Talisman Energy and Marathon Oil, which exited Poland in the face of disappointing exploration results and government delays. Its first fracking operation in the region was at a well located in southeastern Poland. Chevron holds leases or has licensed explorations on 5.6 million acres across Poland, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria. In Lithuania, the company is part of a joint venture that has secured a license for some 600,000 acres and it is now looking to add another 450,000 to that. Chevron has also agreed to invest $400 million in exploration work in Ukraine.