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„Austria Does Not Need Shale Gas“

Published: October 1, 2012; 23:20 · (Vindobona)

Gerhard Roiss, CEO of Austrian OMV, thinks that renouncing on shale gas will be expensive.

„Austria Does Not Need Shale Gas“ / Picture: © OMV Aktiengesellschaft

In September, OMV announced to give up its fracking plans in Austria. In an interview with “Kurier”, Roiss reaffirms that the exploitation of shale gas is no issue anymore. “Austria can afford renouncing on shale gas.” However, renouncing on shale gas will be expensive, Roiss says.

Roiss underlines that Europe needs affordable energy. Otherwise Europe is endangered to lose competitiveness. In meantime, the U.S. is almost energy self-sufficient, Roiss said recently. Roiss: „Energy prices only reach 25% of the European level. Gas power plants are built in the U.S and the coal is being shifted to Europe. Thus, emissions are decreasing in the U.S. and increasing in Europe.“

OMV´s CEO criticized that Europe has no coherent energy strategy. The labor-intensive industry would go to China, the energy-intensive industry would go to the U.S., he said. In the U.S, energy is substantially cheaper than in Europe.

“Europe pretends to be a leader in environmental protection. But the truth is that the U.S. reduces coal power plants and are replaced by gas power plants. If we would do that in Europe, emissions would go down by 18%.”

According to E-Control´s CEO Walter Boltz, the price of shale gas in the U.S. is only about 25% of the natural gas price in Europe. The U.S. shale gas reserves are said to last for 150 years. It would be extremely unwise not to try exploitation of shale gas in Europe. Boltz refers to the existing shale gas deposits in Austria, which are said to last for 30 years.