Postponing new shale gas tender makes sense, Lithuania’s former energy minister says

Jaroslav Neverovič
DELFI / Kiril Čachovskij

“It’s logical since those legal acts, which, among other things, triggered Chevron’s exit, have not yet been repealed and there are no chances to find companies, which would decide to participate in the tender, although the laws still have to be amended and the terms and conditions still have to be improved. It’s also necessary to take into consideration the fact that oil prices have fallen sharply. As a result, the attitude of large companies towards the production of unconventional resources has changed drastically,” he told BNS.

As an example, he mentioned the withdrawal of several large energy companies, including US energy giant Chevron and Canada’s Talisman Energy, from Poland due to administrative burdens and unclear regulation.

“I think Lithuania could work out the terms and conditions for that case if the environment in the global oil market was to change and oil prices were to start growing once again. The first thing to do should be to put the legal environment in order and then, if there is any interest, to launch the tender,” former energy minister said.

Environment Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas said earlier this week that now was not the best time to launch the shale gas exploration and production tender in Lithuania.

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 unfavorable tax and legal environment in Lithuania as the reason.

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

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