Europe Left Behind in Shale Gas Boom

From Economy Watch

Europe risks losing out on a huge energy opportunity and petrochemical investments because of its reluctance to embrace the shale gas revolution, said the head of Sabic, the world’s largest petrolchemical group by market value.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mohamed al-Mady, chief of the Riyadh-based group, said that the hesitation of policymakers in Brussels has driven away potential investors who have instead turned their focus to China and the Middle East – regions that are keen to emulate the US’ success in shale gas.

At their lowest levels in 2012, natural gas prices in the US were about a fifth of import prices in Europe and some 50 new projects have been unveiled in the US petrochemical industry, including a $30 billion planned investment in ethylene and fertilisers alone.

In the interview, Mady pointed out that this had led to a big expansion in petrochemical facilities in the US, where Sabic is eyeing potential investments to take advantage of cheap shale gas.

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