Gazprom Expedites Nord Stream Fearing Shale Gas Boom
Commentary by the Gerson Lehrman Group indicates that Gazprom and its partners which include Wintershall, E.OnRuhrgas, Nederlandse Gasunie and GDF-Suez, have accelerated plans for the Nord Stream pipeline. Construction will begin in April of this year and the first of two pipelines will be in service by the end of 2011.
Gazprom and its partners have been concerned that the nascent shale gas boom in Europe would impact natural gas prices so that the pipeline would be uneconomic. However, the likelihood of large volumes of shale gas from European fields flooding the market in the near term is diminished by the need to discover and delineate productive fields and then to drill the development wells.
To the chagrin of proponents of European energy independence, this means that Gazprom will continue to have near monopoly control over at least 25% of the European gas market over the next several years.
Source: Gerson Lehrman Group