This report investigates the current position of gas infrastructure in Europe and the current state of gas pipelines and projects in the region.
The EU possesses only 1.6% of the world's proved natural gas reserves, and produces only 6.2% of the total production on earth, making imports a necessity now and in the foreseeable future. Natural gas is likely to become the energy source of choice in Europe after Germany and other countries decided to abandon nuclear energy.
Russia is the owner of proven natural gas reserves estimated at 1,680tcf located mainly in Siberia and is also the world's second largest producer of natural gas after the US, and the EU's largest external supplier. Four of Russia's seven major export pipelines move product to Europe and have a combined capacity of 4.0 tcf.
Shale gas refers to natural gas trapped within shale formations. The two key pieces of legislation at EU level that apply to shale gas activities are the Hydrocarbons Directive and REACH. Very little specific legislation or regulation, either at an EU or member-state level, currently exists regarding shale gas activities.