Minister of Energy Arvydas Sekmokas states that shale gas could serve as an alternative energy source and it is part of the Lithuanian energy strategy. According to him, shale gas found in Lithuania is worth 35 billion EUR in 2011 prices, delfi.lt reported on 29 February.
Data provided by A. Sekmokas shows that at the moment there are around 100 billion cubic metres of shale gas which could be extracted. This would be enough to last 30-40 years in Lithuania; however, it is still too early to talk about its extraction.
‘This would meet Lithuania’s needs for 30-40 years’, – thinks the Minister, though he emphasises that it is still too early to talk about the costs of extraction. ‘We need time and we need to make calculations and surveys. This is a result of long work.’
However, director of the Lithuanian geology service Juozas Mockevičius is not so optimistic.
‘I could not announce today that there are 100 or 113 billion cubes of shale gas. – says J. Mockevičius. – Besides geological risks there are also other types of risk. In the western part of the country we have large and beautiful protected areas. Lithuanian law forbids new extraction or mining in protected territories which means that we will have to abandon extraction plans in some areas. Lithuania is not Texas, it is more densely populated, more urbanised. Certain problems will arise.’
According to him, opening a new gravel, sand or anhydrite mine is problematic and complicated because many problems arise related to the land users, local communities and authorities. It is also difficult to say how much of shale gas there will be in various terrains.
‘Adding all this together, our prognoses are not that optimistic’, – says the director of the Lithuanian geology service.
It could encourage connection with Poland
According to the minister, shale gas extraction in Poland could encourage connection with Lithuania.
‘There is no doubt that the Baltic states could be an interesting market. Shale gas extracted in Poland, if judged according to the prices in the USA, could actually compete with gas provided by ‘Gazprom’, – thinks A. Sekmokas.
But, according to him, this will depend on the process of shale gas extraction in Poland.