Lithuania will not launch new shale gas tender for now

Environment Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

“Now is not the best time to launch this tender. Many hydrocarbon producers have recently reduced their exploration spending or even put those activities on hold due to geopolitical tensions … and changes in oil prices in the global market,” Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas said in a press release.

The situation is likely to change and the country might find potential investors interested in shale resource exploration in the Tauragė-Šilutė region, according to him.

Early in February, Trečiokas said that “actual work may be launched” in March and the country might issue a tender, provided there was any interest.

Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius said last December that he expected that the tender would attract bidders, noting that some US companies had already expressed their interest.

The US energy giant Chevron, the sole bidder in the previous tender for a shale gas exploration and production license, pulled out in October 2013, citing unfavourable tax and legal environment in Lithuania.

According to unconfirmed data, Lithuania could have recoverable shale gas reserves of around 100 billion to 120 billion cubic meters.

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