We don’t even know what shale gas deposits we have, Spartak Keremidchiev points out
Photo: Reuters Archive
Local mining in Bulgaria is cited as an important part of the diversification of energy sources and guaranteeing energy security. But it will not necessarily lead to a reduction in prices, believes Prof. Spartak Keremidchiev from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS).
Before BNR, he commented on the potential for shale gas extraction in our country. According to him, in case the exploration and production of shale gas is still allowed, the right to dispose of the produced gas will belong to a private concessionaire company, and most likely the price will be tied to international markets. The only reduction that can be expected is the gas transit costs, which are not really low – about 2.50 euros per 100 kilometers, added Keremedchiev.
The expert explained that due to the moratorium on exploration and production of shale gas, at the moment we do not even know what gas reserves we have and we are judging them based on preliminary international studies. And they show that we have about 480-500 billion cubic meters of shale gas – enough to satisfy the domestic market for years to come. Gas consumption in our country is about 3 billion cubic meters per year, although there is potential to expand significantly, because less than 3% of households in the country are gasified.
According to the expert, studies can quickly be done in Northern Bulgaria – Etropole, Novi Pazar and around Pleven. But the mining procedure involves several steps – registering a commercial discovery and granting a concession, and there is no deadline for the issuance of these permits and this can take years.
Keremedchiev also commented that fracking technologies are already developing, but the risks remain and must be taken into account, especially in Dobrichko, where the deposits are below the water layer and an accident could be catastrophic.