New Energy research report from Business Monitor International is now available from Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 11/01/2013 -- With shale gas exploration now unlikely until beyond 2014 thanks to government and public concerns, the Czech Republic is going to remain highly dependent on imported fuel, as conventional hydrocarbons potential is limited. Demand trends are not particularly strong, but refinery disruptions show that the domestic fuels market is in a precarious state of balance. This, in turn, has prompted the government to investigate ownership options for the national refining segment.
The main trends and developments we highlight for the Czech Republic's oil and gas sector are:
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- Plans to freeze shale gas exploration for two years to allow the government to draft and implement new legislation have found plenty of support, meaning that drilling activity is unlikely until beyond 2014. The ministry aims to establish a clear legal and technical framework so that any disputes that arise during shale gas exploration can be resolved under sound arbitration procedures, according to Environment Minister Tomas Chalupa. Several domestic and foreign companies had earlier applied for shale gas exploration permits, including the UK's Cuadrilla Resources and Basgas Energia Czech, a unit of Australia-based Basgas. Domestic upstream company MND has also applied for an exploration permit.
- Unipetrol insisted on January 23 2013 that it has no intention of selling control of the Czech Republic's major refiner Ceska Rafinerska. The statement came a day after Czech Industry Minister Martin Kuba said the government is preparing a plan to take over the company, confirming long-standing market speculation. The move is prompted by the government's desire to bolster energy security, Kuba told Reuters in an interview. To that end, an expert group has been formed to study the plan, which aims to combine the refiner with state-held crude and oil products pipeline operators Mero and Cepro.
- Consumption of natural gas fell during 2011/12, dampened by a decline in manufacturing and warm weather. However, the fuel is finding increased residential/commercial use and may displace coal in future power generation projects. BMI is forecasting that overall demand will rise from an estimated 8.2bn cubic metres (bcm) in 2012 to around 9.4bcm by 2017, then reach 10.2bcm by 2022. Carpathian Resources has identified potentially gas-bearing structures for future drilling; however, we do not expect to see domestic gas production rise above 0.2bcm over the medium term.
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