Bulgaria Will Conduct Shale Gas Drilling Sooner or Later – Deputy Minister
Chavdar Georgiev, Deputy Minister of Environment and Water, has suggested that shale gas drilling in Bulgaria is a matter of time.
In January 2012, following mass protests in a number of cities, Bulgaria's Parliament imposed an indefinite moratorium on shale gas exploration and extraction through the controversial technology of hydraulic fracturing.
"Shale gas is often cited as one of the ways to diversify energy sources. Bulgaria has imposed a moratorium on shale gas exploration and production, but taking into account that we do not have sufficient reserves of crude oil and conventional gas, we will sooner or later resort to shale gas extraction," Georgiev declared during a conference titled "Natural gas – infrastructure and services" organized by the Bulgarian Federation of Industrial Energy Consumers.
He noted, however, that there was "nobody to initiate the lifting of the moratorium at this stage."
He pointed out that the situation was similar all over Europe and that most EU countries were in standby mode.
Georgiev, as cited by 3e-news.net, said that Denmark had awarded five shale gas exploration permits and the government was now waiting to see the results of the activities.
"In response to the shale gas revolution in the US, research by German experts has shown that switching to shale gas is still not economically feasible in Europe," he added.
Ivanka Dilovska from the Institute for Energy Management pointed out that shale gas had helped alleviate the dependence of gas prices on crude oil components.
She said that prices were gradually starting to be determined by the market, adding that in Germany's case, Gazprom had proposed a gas price reduction by 15%.
"This is the beneficial impact of the shale gas revolution in the US," Dilovska explained.
Georgiev also informed that talks were underway to include an axis for environmental innovations under the operational program Environment in the 2014-2020 programming period, adding that it would be used to provide resources for funding environmental preservation projects and energy efficiency projects.
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