Analysis  |  22 January 2015

All you need is interconnection, or the key to success (or failure) of the European energy policy 

The European energy policy has never been one of the success stories of the EU. However, while issues such as the external supply, the energy mix or the development of the single energy market have always been at the core of the discussion, energy interconnections, meaning infrastructural links for gas and electricity, have always had less relevance. An interconnected Europe is, however, the necessary condition for all the above to happen. Not by chance, both the President of the European Council Donald Tusk, when proposing the Energy Union, and the Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, when putting that into practice, strongly underlined the need for European energy infrastructures.

Analysis  |  8 January 2015

Shale gas a distant prospect?

By Nicholas Newman

In 2013 the US Energy Administration estimated that Europe contained 470 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of potentially recoverable shale gas, equivalent to 80% of US reserves. Given the size of Europe’s potential shale gas reserves and the EU’s declared intent to constrain climate change, while still protecting energy security, it is surprising that exploration for shale gas has been so little and so slow. Poland, the UK, France, Ukraine, Romania and Germany are all countries, which are estimated to have significant shale gas resources, but, with only 55 rigs in operation, knowledge of Europe’s geological share heritage is sparse, though early indications are that the shale plays are deeper at around 5000-6000 metres compared to 3000-4000 metres in the US.

Viewpoint  |  8 January 2015

Did The Saudis And The US Collude In Dropping Oil Prices?

By Andrew Topf of

The oil price drop that has dominated the headlines in recent weeks has been framed almost exclusively in terms of oil market economics, with most media outlets blaming Saudi Arabia, through its OPEC Trojan horse, for driving down the price, thus causing serious damage to the world's major oil exporters – most notably Russia.

Expert contribution  |  8 January 2015

Should energy companies be regulated like banks?

MiFID II raises the regulatory bar (again) for Europe’s commodity traders

By James Brown

For energy traders, the growing compliance burden in Europe and America created by the financial crisis is set to intensify with the introduction of MIFID II in 2017. It is still uncertain as to how the directives may be implemented by Europe’s nation states, and there is doubt over the future of regulatory exemptions presently relied on by the industry. As a result, the MIFID II consultation process that will take place over the next three years will prove critical, but companies can’t afford to wait and see to decide how best to address the likely increase in regulatory risk. Understanding the variables today -- and planning accordingly -- is essential.

Interview  |  18 December 2014

Interview with Torstein Indrebø, Honorary Secretary General of IGU

Gas is part of the long term solution to climate change

By Jozef Badida

Torstein Indrebø, then Secretary General of the International Gas Union, was a distinguished guest of the XXI Autumn Gas Conference organised by the Slovak Gas and Oil Association. Energy analyst Jozef Badida discussed with him the role of natural gas in a low-carbon energy mix, climate goals, Russian-Ukrainian gas dispute and challenges ahead of IGU.

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