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Energy & Environment

Ukraine Crisis May Accelerate Shale Gas Development In Eastern Europe

Tensions highlight Europe’s dependence on Russian energy supplies.



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Recent disputes between Russia and Ukraine have followed a pattern. Ukraine would upset the Kremlin. Russia would respond by cutting the flow of natural gas to Ukraine. But the pipelines that supply Ukraine also carry Russian gas westward to the European Union.

Now some European nations are hoping they’ll be able to get at their own gas reserves by fracking.  Angela Stent heads the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University.

“I think this will reinforce the determination of particularly the Eastern Europeans to lessen their dependence on Russian energy and to find more sources, but the problem is, for members of the European Union, it’s what the European Union is going to allow different countries to do in terms of hydraulic fracturing.”

Stent says EU member Poland is likely to push ahead with fracking regardless, as will non-EU member Ukraine. Chevron is already working to develop shale gas resources in both countries.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew Schneider is the senior reporter for politics and government at Houston Public Media, NPR's affiliate station in Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he heads the station's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments...

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