Exploration and production of unconventional gas resources have been the focus of US authorities and industry for years already. This trend has started in Europe, where Germany, Italy, UK, Poland  and other European countries have begun to focus on these resources. More attention has been given by the industry to explore for unconventional gas resources, like Gas Shales, Coal Bed Methane (CBM), tight Gas and potentially oil shale resources as well.

Indications of this spike in interest are the amount of conferences arranged and to be arranged around Europe in 2010.

This article will highlight some of the conferences/workshops held and planned to be held during this year as well as discuss some of the industry efforts planned and already started in Europe.

Interesting is the participation of major players from the US, and talks about their experience from exploring and producing of these unconventional resources.

Also worth noticing, is the absence of authorities from the US when it comes to environmental concerns, regulatory discussions and so on?

Technology enables utilization of these resources in manners not possible only few years ago. Rapid development of technology and understanding of these unconventional resources makes these resources a formidable untapped potential for oil and gas companies.

In the US alone, these resources are believed to supply over 50% of the US production of gas by 2020.

In Europe, international oil and gas companies have begun the race for acreage to explore for the unconventional resource potential. Countries like Poland, France and UK together with Germany have begun to focus more on these resources now. However, the understanding of the potential for these resources are not well understood as of yet in this region of the world.

ConocoPhillips together with 3Legs are planning to drill their first proof of concept well in Poland in the latter part of June this year.

ExxonMobil has secured significant acreage in Poland for exploring of shale gas and other unconventional production opportunities in Europe.

BNK has secured 2.4 million acres of net acreage in 3 basins within Saxony-Anhalt region in Germany for exploitation of unconventional resources. In addition the company has around 1.1 million net acres in Europe.

Total has acreage in Montelimar in the Southern France and is evaluating this acreage before making any decisions to follow up its efforts from the US gas shale campaign. They have indicated interest in Denmark and Germany.

The Polish oil company Orlen has made gas shale discoveries within the Lublin region of Poland and signed letters of intent with ENI and Shell.

Poland authorities have issued 58 licenses over the past 2 years to American companies for shale gas exploration within their territories.

Shell has drilled 2 out of three wells looking for gas shales in the southern part of Sweden, called Skane. Shell has indicated that these resources should cover the gas need for Sweden for at least 10 years to come.

Igas has drilled one of Europe's first wells for "unconventional" gas in the UK, extracted from source rocks traditionally rejected by the industry as uneconomic.  Igas has taken leases on 300,000 acres of shale, a sedimentary rock, across north Wales and north-west England

Although exploration is concentrated on shale and coal bed gas in a corridor running from Poland through Germany to the UK, many other areas in Europe like the Paris Basin and the Pannonian Basin in Hungary are attracting interest. A large variety of unconventional exploration players are active, ranging from major companies like Chevron and ExxonMobil to the smaller more specialized companies like Lane Energy and local companies like Rhein Petroleum.

Gazprom has realized that this focus on the unconventional gas resource potential in Europe, could poses a serious risk for Gazprom and their energy export values. Therefore Russia has started a massive anti-shale propaganda to delay and stall any European Gas Shale efforts.

The industry's ability to deploy the right technologies and the authorities ability to govern the exploitation of these resources will be key success factors for these plays in Europe.

Some efforts have been made to look into the Gas Shale and CBM potential within Ukraine, as this could provide another dimension to the European Energy debate and energy security issues especially.

Since the potential in Ukraine can be massive, it deserves attention from Ukraine authorities as well as the industry players to develop a thorough understanding of its true potential and development potential.



The balance of need for Gas as a future energy source in Europe versus renewable energy campaign in Europe is essential for any project economics in Europe.

Gunter Oettinger, the new European Commissioner for energy, stresses the value of renewable energy. Forecasts indicate that EU is on course to meet its renewable goal for 2020. EU is tasked to ensure their member states to reach and go beyond the 20 percent target set out in their strategic plans.

The political pressure from EU political leaders to ensure a renewable energy part of their energy budgets, pressure the confidence in future demand for gas and there are risks it could choke off investments within Unconventional resource projects within Europe. This due to the fact that there are no guarantee for supply needs. It will also weigh against gas-fired power stations planned in Europe as other forms of energy could supply these power stations in the near future. It is therefore a need to look at project profitability beyond 2020 for any Unconventional Gas projects in Europe.

Some European Unconventional Oil and Gas Resource Conferences


Unconventional gas provides abundant, affordable, and cleaner-burning energy to a world demanding stable energy prices, security, and solutions to the climate challenge. Advances in technology have enabled these "new" resources to be developed economically in the United States — now supplying over 40% of total U.S. production and expected to supply well over 50% by 2020. The transfer of knowledge combined with new technology and processes tailored to specific resource plays will be essential to developing unconventional gas in other regions of the world.

Global Unconventional Gas 2010: Unlocking Your Potential is the world's premier international conference and workshop designed to transfer knowledge and best practices gained in the U.S. Energy professionals and stakeholders will hear from top U.S. and international experts about the enormous potential of gas shale and other unconventional gas resources across the globe and learn about the latest issues, approaches, processes and technologies key to unlocking the resources in their own countries.


Who will be there— E&P Managers , Engineers , Geologists , Investors , Policy Makers , Officials


Conference highlights you won't want to miss—

Dynamic keynote addresses on the role of unconventional gas in a sustainable global energy mix and what additional gas supplies make possible in terms of demand

Presentations from leading E&P and service companies addressing key issues associated with resource development

Candid, interactive panel discussions about opportunities and insights into key global and U.S. shale plays

A learning workshop to review current and developing technologies

A Welcome Reception, luncheons, and refreshment breaks, where you'll share views and experiences with world leaders in unconventional gas resource development.


Hear keynote presentations and perspectives from—

Aubrey K. McClendon, Chairman and CEO, Chesapeake Energy Corporation

Dr. Abdul Rahim Hashim, President, IGU

Christopher Flavin, President, Worldwatch Institute

Chris Smith, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

Leading shale technology, resource, and business experts

Prominent European and global energy officials


What you'll gain—

A real-time perspective on the global prospects for unconventional gas

Proven approaches to accelerated unconventional resource development

Resources and techniques to effectively address technology challenges

Knowledge and connections to leading and emerging industry players


Over 700 of Europe's leading energy professionals met to discuss the new agenda for gas and LNG in Amsterdam at Flame 2010. Unconventional gas, new markets for LNG and commodity prices dominated discussions as players met to get the latest update on global gas opportunities and challenges.

Dr. Richard G. Newell, of the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Mike Stice of CHESAPEAKE ENERGY shared their thoughts on the development of and prospects for unconventional gas in the USA.

LNG Summit Day - Monday 1st March 2010 - Key questions discussed included the impact of unconventional gas and new LNG supplies coming online on global LNG flows - will we see the emergence of a mature spot market for LNG? How will unconventional gas affect Summer 2010's LNG flows?

Trading & Transportation: Updates on European Trends from leading companies including DONG, EON, GTS, GASUNIE, RWE and more!

The Impact Of The Economic Crisis On Gas Demand & Pricing: One of the biggest questions on everyone's lips - discussions featured leading companies such as: BP, OIES, ECONGAS, NatGas, The Brattle Group, RWE and more

Supply & Demand: Europe's Future Supply/Demand Balance & Global LNG Flows Given The Impact Of Unconventional Gas

Investment Challenges For European Infrastructure

German Market Update: Gas Demand, Merger Of The Gas Areas, Balancing, Storage, Moving Gas Cross Borders and more

Key companies in attendance at Flame 2010 included:

Gazprom Export


Total Gas & Power


Centrica Energy  



E.ON Ruhrgas                          

Cheniere Supply & Marketing

BP Global Gas                          


GDF Suez Global LNG             


RWE Supply & Trading

GASPOOL Balancing Services                       

Nabucco Pipeline

Repsol Gas Natural


Cepsa Gas                                

Gasunie and many more!

Expert views were given from companies including: DONG, London Energy Brokers' Association, E.ON Energy Trading, RWE Supply & Trading, GTS, GTE & Gasunie Deutschland

Key presentations included:

Alaa Abu Jbara, Marketing Director, QATARGAS

Steve Hamilton, EVP Strategy, GDF SUEZ GLOBAL LNG

Jean Abiteboul, President, CHENIERE SUPPLY & MARKETING

Guy Broggi, Head of LNG Supply, TOTAL GAS & POWER

Simon Bonini, Director LNG, CENTRICA

Andy Flower, LNG Consultant

David Wells, VP Global LNG Supply, SHELL GAS & POWER

Stefan Bürkle, LNG Group COO, E.ON RUHRGAS

Simon Cattle, Head of Supply & Trading, Gas Trading - Europe and LNG, BP

David Fuller, Head of LNG, RWE SUPPLY & TRADING

Thierry Trouvé, Chief Executive Officer, ELENGY

Gregorio Morales, LNG Trading Manager, STREAM RGN

Next venue is planned as The 17th Annual Event in the Spring 2011- Hotel Okura, Amsterdam


Maximizing efficiency; reducing costs; extracting best value

Unconventional gas resources are expected to steer the future of the energy sector in the coming years.

SMi's 3rd annual Unconventional Gas conference will be taking a practical look at unconventional gas production challenges, where the pressure is on to reduce costs and still deliver positive results.

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th September 2010, Marriot Hotel regents Park, London, UK.

To make the most from the underlying commercial opportunities, companies must be agile in analysing their business needs and implement robust strategies to maximise the benefit from these resources. At the same time technologies and the supporting infrastructure have to be both efficient and economically viable to ensure success.

Europe's leading Unconventional Gas conference brings together industry experts and project operators to discuss the drivers, constraints and opportunities for non-conventional operations. Strategic examples and practical case studies will provide you with the know-how to succeed by being able to identify potential pitfalls and coming up with suitable solutions


Venue: Sofitel Warsaw Victoria Hotel, Poland, July 19 – 20th 2010

What Makes A Financially Viable Shale Gas Prospect?

The abundance in recent years of US shale gas has sparked enormous interest from the oil and gas industry into different shale regions around the world, where exploration is currently underway to find out if, and where, shale gas will be as productive as it is in North America.

But what can governments do to encourage the development of shale gas in their own countries?

How can investment in the expensive E+P process be encouraged, given the environmental and regulatory barriers-to-entry faced in some regions?

How can shale gas production become cost-competitive in different regions, given the current low price of gas?

As one of the hottest geographical areas so far identified for exploring the potential for shale gas as a cost-competitive resource, Warsaw is the ideal venue for this major Summit, enabling the global shale gas industry to meet with the key government and industry players in Poland, and potentially facilitating future energy independence from their Russian neighbors'.

Having seen the drastic impact of shale gas on both the North American and global energy balance now is a critical time to assess the realistic prospects and genuine business opportunities for shale gas production worldwide, by addressing the geological data and the commercial feasibility of shale gas technology when applied to other regions.

Expanding Cost-Competitive Shale Gas Worldwide

Where Do The Geological Prospects For Shale Gas Lie?

Without yet having conclusive data from shale gas drilling in Europe or elsewhere in the world, the industry nevertheless needs clarity on how and where shale gas is likely to be a commercially viable resource.  Moreover, outlining what data is available and what data is still needed to predict the future productivity of shales, compared to the three biggest shale plays in the US will be critical. The Summit will feature a series of detailed panels given by senior geologists from different regions of the world. Combined with governments talking about how regulatory and land use issues will affect the commerciality of shale gas in these regions, this will help companies to define how they can gain entry and move forward in different regions.

Cost Reduction, Optimization & Offsetting

Having delved into the geological data by region, countries need to find out exactly how the capital and energy-intensive exploration, drilling, completion and production processes can be optimized to make shale gas commercially-viable.

Leading service companies in the field will deliver innovative tools & techniques for throughout the exploration and production processes of shale gas, including cost-optimization of drilling and completion. This is also a chance to discuss how service companies envisage supplying demand for shale gas in the future and the cost implications of ramping up supply chain capabilities in new regions.

Opening the floor for a discussion on the application of North American technologies globally, breakfast briefings from independent US shale gas experts will bring newcomers up-to-speed on the economics, mechanics, and challenges of horizontal drilling and the use of the hydraulic fracturing technique.

Partnerships & Regionally-Specific Regulation - Strategies For Entry Into New Markets

Bringing government and industry together from Europe and beyond, this is the premier business conference to focus purely on strategies and solutions for expanding global shale gas.  Here, US shale gas experts will meet with governments to facilitate commercial shale gas development outside of North America for the first time.

High on the agenda for industry and government, this summit will also address the importance of managing and mitigating environmental risks, including water availability, disposal and reuse, to understand what the cost-implications of environmental risk will be.

The Need for Shale Gas: Why This Event Comes At A Crucial Time For The Global Industry

With US technical innovations allowing gas to be extracted in different shales across North America from previously impenetrable reserves, shale gas has never been a more important issue for the global oil and gas industry and those in charge of securing future gas supply. At this summit the industry will learn from US experiences, identify the challenges of expanding cost-competitive shale gas production worldwide, in terms of strategies and technology, and overcome regulatory and environmental barriers to bring this new resource to market at this crucial time, to meet the growing demands of gas consumers.

The author:

Stig-Arne Kristoffersen has a background as civil engineer and geoscientist. He has worked mainly within the oil and gas industry from the mid 1980s. He has written a few fictional novels as well as being the author of some professional litterature within oil and gas sector. He act as a writer to various web sites.

Source by Stig Kristoffersen


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