Gazprom chief steps up attacks on shale gas

Alexander Medvedev, deputy CEO of Gazprom, has been laying out his thoughts on the US shale boom, which threatens to knock his company off its pedestal as the dominant player in the natural gas market.

He likened the shale boom to the internet bubble, “which first blew up enormously and then flattened itself out to some rational and logical size”.

Later, answering questions from Energy Source readers, he explained his company would not looking to develop its own shale resources.

Gazprom has the largest conventional natural gas reserves, which would be, in general, cheaper and more operationally flexible to monetise and develop, than the potential shale reserves.

He also suggested that markets had overreacted to the emergence of US shale:

It would be foolish to suggest that it has not had a short term effect on the global natural gas industry. However, we would suggest that a little time is taken before the strategic effects are agreed.

But he has left the door open for future investment in this area:

If technology moves on to the point where it makes economic sense for Gazprom to explore and develop these reserves, then we would of course consider it – however at the moment that is not the case.

Whatever he says in public, however, Medvedev does regard shale as a threat: I understand his company was looking at ways to help promote the anti-shale film Gasland after its recent release.

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