In addition to Great Britain and Poland, Romania, Hungary and Spain took the course for the development of shale gas production technologies in Europe. At the same time, in France and Bulgaria, this method of mining is officially prohibited. 
The situation with shale gas and in general the situation with the energy security of Europe is a complex and multifaceted problem. Almost simultaneously with the interview of Günther Oettinger to the newspaper Les Échos, the French media became the open letter of the leading EU energy companies. Among them are French GDF Suez, German E.On and RWE, Italian ENI, as well as Spanish Iberdrola and GasNatural Fenosa. Representatives of these companies actually accused the European Commission of conducting an insolvent policy in the energy field as a whole.
The position of European energy giants was explained in an interview with the Paris newspaper Le Monde by GDF Suez CEO Gerard Mestrallet. He stressed that companies are not “asking for subsidies,” but they require “clarity, the presence of stable and homogeneous rules in Europe, and the definition of objectives up to the 2030 year.” European leaders "must understand that the current energy policy leads to collapse," says J. Mestrallet. “All this will end up with Europe destroying part of its energy industry. It is urgent to rethink this political line, its resources and goals. ” According to the CEO of GDF Suez, the Old World failed to achieve concrete results on any of the three points on its energy agenda: combating climate change, improving competitiveness, and ensuring the security of energy supplies. Moreover, it is precisely at present that there is a tendency to “disintegrate Europe according to the energy principle”. 
Leading European companies approach the problem of shale gas production critically, seeing here as a mediated environmental threat to the entire continent. The development of shale gas in North America has led to a radical breakdown of the energy system in Europe: the United States relied on shale gas, coal prices collapsed, Europeans rushed to buy cheap coal - and Europe literally “puffed”.
And the Americans themselves, who have tried to become pioneers in the extraction of shale gas, are still careful in assessing the prospects. Test drilling triggered mass protests in the United States, as the hydraulic fracturing method (fracking) used in these cases is dangerous for water and atmospheric reservoirs. In addition, leading companies and analytical institutions in their assessments of the prospects for shale gas extraction in the United States seriously differ, which also gives no reason to talk about the "shale revolution" in the affirmative sense. So, if the company East European Gas Analysis predicts annual production in excess of 2015 billion cubic meters per year by 180, then the International Energy Agency calls 150 billion cubic meters per year - and even then not by 2015, but only by 2030 year .
Nevertheless, supporters of shale gas in Europe are in a hurry to move along the American path. Even in the interview with Die Welt, Gunter Oettinger considered it a blessing to warn against excessive haste in this area. He promised on behalf of the European Commission to develop common rules for the extraction of shale gas and work out "environmental issues." True, he is still convinced that Germany should not “miss the chance” of shale gas production. 
Be that as it may, in Oettinger's homeland, in Germany, the resolution of the issue of shale gas is postponed until after the elections to the Bundestag scheduled for September 22 on September 2013. Ecology is a sore subject for German voters.
But in neighboring Poland, the development of shale gas is given, without exaggeration, geopolitical importance, hoping in this way to gain liberation from the notorious “gas dependence on Russia”. Petr Maciej Kaczynski, an expert at the Polish Institute of Social Sciences and a part-time associate at the Brussels Center for European Policy Studies, insisting that “Gazprom is an instrument of the Kremlin’s foreign policy,” actively urges the Polish government to “do everything” to prevent the construction of the Nord Stream gas pipeline is precisely serving the interests of Europe’s energy security. In this matter, certain Polish circles act in close "bow" with the Americans. 
So, Zbigniew Brzezinski stresses that the “extremely important” component of Washington’s Eurasian strategy is efforts “to open Central Asia (despite the hindrances created by Russia) to the world economy.” Central Asia is meant here as a source of alternative energy supplies to Russia. This strategy is designed to prevent turning into an independent pole of influence in the global energy industry not only in Russia, but also in the European Union, given that, according to the estimates of the US Department of Energy, global energy demand will increase by more than 2015% by 50 compared to the average of 1990- s.  Even more frankly, the role of energy in US foreign policy was described by well-known American expert Robert Herbert: “Oil and financial resources are two main topics that have never been openly and publicly discussed in the US. These important questions were turned over to various masters of the backstage political struggle, and now many of them are already counting their profits. ” 
However, in the US, the apology of the "shale revolution" is facing serious problems. French Total at the beginning of this year announced the suspension of the development of shale gas deposits in the United States due to low profitability. In particular, the concern suffered "major financial losses in Texas." Therefore, Total management has decided to abandon the development of relevant fields in the United States and focus on the extraction of traditional natural gas. 
The situation is similar in other areas of the “world shale revolution”. The development of Polish deposits has already been abandoned by the local state-owned company Lotos, the US Exxon Mobil and the Canadian Talisman Energy. The latter, in particular, frankly stated that profitable deposits of shale gas were simply not found. And at the first Mozambican gas summit held in Maputo in March, Manuel Ferreira de Oliveira, president of the Portuguese oil and gas holding Grupo Galp Galp Energia, made an eloquent statement, urging not to exaggerate the threat from shale gas to traditional energy sources. He acknowledged that “shale gas has already certainly turned into a source of energy for the world,” but stressed that “according to the most optimistic forecasts,” the reserves of shale gas will be enough only to compete with coal in those countries where is mined. 
It is characteristic that, despite the hot appeals of European Commissioner Oettinger, the Council of the EU is still cautious, which also confirms the speculative nature of many statements about the “global shale revolution” standing at the gates of Europe. Diplomatic sources in Brussels make it clear that it’s premature to talk about developing a common approach to the use of shale gas. “The EU has no such potential. To increase competitiveness, we need a different strategy consisting of several components ... There is shale gas in the EU. But the question of the composition of sources of energy is in the competence of national authorities. Those who want to try can do it. For some EU countries, this could be part of the list of energy sources, ”testify in Brussels on condition of anonymity.  In addition, according to the forecasts of the International Energy Agency, unconventional gas production in Europe by 2030 will be no more than 15 billion cubic meters.
EU Council Chairman Herman van Rompuy has publicly acknowledged that by 2035, the EU’s dependence on oil and gas imports will reach 80% of its needs. Experts of the International Energy Agency confirm that the demand for gas in Europe will increase to 2030 year by 1,5% per year. However, this circumstance is unlikely to justify ill-considered and hasty steps. The main issue is the stability and reliability of existing routes of energy supplies. And it should be resolved with the participation of all interested parties, including Russia.
The last 29-30 of May in Brussels is a two-day, already the eighth, international conference “Energy Dialogue: Russia-EU. The gas aspect ”again failed to overcome the impasse formed in the relations between Moscow and Brussels in the energy field. The EU leadership still insists on Russia's joining the so-called “Third Energy Package”, which provides for the actual refusal of the Russian side to participate in projects for the delivery and distribution of Russian gas in the EU countries. Essentially, this is a requirement for Moscow to agree to transfer part of its financial and economic powers in the energy sector to Brussels, if it is impossible for Russia to influence decision-making by the European Union ... A similar mechanism is used by the European Union for individual eurozone countries under the pretext of implementing anti-crisis programs . However, Russia is not part of the EU and cannot assume such obligations in addition to the obligations already set forth in the relevant agreements for organizing an uninterrupted supply of energy resources to the EU countries. 
The fact that the European Union’s demand for energy sources is increasing and will continue to increase is not a secret to anyone. And even the financial crisis has not changed anything here. The reduction of investment and the regime of a tough economy hit primarily on the development "for the future", relating to renewable energy and shale gas, the production of which in Europe on the necessary scale has not yet begun. The main expert disputes are conducted only around the growth rate of the EU’s dependence on external sources of energy resources. It is estimated that, at present, EU member countries import up to half of the energy resources they need, and the share of oil in procurement exceeds 70%. In the future, the EU’s dependence on external sources of energy for the 2030 year may be reached in oil - 92%, in gas - 81%. 
The question arises: where to get the resources? A couple of years ago, Brussels had no doubt that they would go through the Nabucco gas pipeline. Initially, this project provided for the supply of gas from fields in Azerbaijan and the Middle East through Turkey, with the prospect of connecting to it Central Asian suppliers. The length of the pipe should have been about 3300 kilometers, and the potential volumes of pumped gas - 25 – 30 billion cubic meters per year.
It sounds impressive. However, even at best, these supplies would be able to satisfy no more than 5% of the EU gas needs, calculated for the 2020 year. In other words, Nabucco is not able to solve the problem of energy security of the European Union, replacing supplies from Russia, especially if we consider that after putting the South Stream gas pipeline into operation, the total volume of Russian supplies to Europe will be 110 – 118 billion cubic meters of gas per year. This will allow not less than half to meet the growing demands of the European Union. Back in 2009, The New York Times stated that Nabucco supplies will be able to cover only 12% of the volumes provided for the project, while supplies from Russia, even without South Stream, cover the EU’s gas needs by a third. 
But that's not all. In the implementation of the project Nabucco difficulties arose from the very beginning. As of today, the last section of this pipeline, actually put into operation, remains the 47-kilometer line on the Arad-Szeged route, connecting the Hungarian and Romanian gas distribution systems.
And at the beginning of 2012, the official representative of the Ministry of Energy of Turkey said that Ankara will no longer provide "full support" to the Nabucco project, since alternative projects are "much cheaper and easier to implement." According to him, the priority for Ankara (as well as for the key participant of Nabucco - Baku) will now become the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline (TAP, which uses Azerbaijani gas and the existing pipeline system in Turkey), as well as gas supplies from Russia. This circumstance gave rise to the London newspaper The Financial Times to suggest the existence of the energy alliance "Russia - Azerbaijan - Turkey" and conclude that "the prospects for the Nabucco project seem to be worsening day by day." 
In the spring of the same 2012, a similar statement was made by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said that the Hungarian company MOL had decided to refuse to participate in the Nabucco project. At the same time, the representative of MOL confirmed that there are a lot of ambiguities in the project that are “difficult to ignore”, in particular, regarding the financing of construction and the search for resources to fill the pipe with gas. 
As a result, new changes had to be made to the already approved plans, and the pipeline construction consortium is currently considering the issue of passing a 1300 km pipe from the Turkish-Bulgarian border to Austria. The updated project has already received the name Nabucco-West. Well, as the apotheosis of the growing disbelief of experts and investors in this project, in March of this year, the German energy concern RWE sold its stake in the project to the Austrian OMV group.
Thus, the initial project of the Nabucco pipeline in recent years has undergone forced changes, further reducing its economic feasibility. Serious problems remain with the filling of the pipe. As Grachem Sadler, financial analyst at Deloitte, rightly notes, “it’s difficult to launch and finance an infrastructure megaproject in the gas market, which already has access to gas supply sources at competitive prices.” In this regard, he assesses the economic basis of the Nabucco project as “unsustainable”. 
The last nail in the lid of the coffin of Nabucco can drive in Azerbaijan. The Shah-Deniz national consortium is currently choosing the route for exporting Azerbaijani gas to Europe between the TAP and Nabucco-West projects. The decision must be made before the end of June 2013. Nevertheless, Elshad Nasirov, vice president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) for marketing and investment, already seemed to anticipate the refusal of Nabucco-West, calling the Trans-Anatolian gas pipeline the only opportunity for Europe to receive alternative gas. 
However, some considerations still do not allow the European Commission to abandon anti-Russian energy phobias. So the diversification slogan still has only one content for Brussels - how to prevent the growth of Russian supplies. The actions of the European Commission may well fit into some geopolitical projects, but they also cause real harm to European consumers.
It is not surprising that in the countries of the European Union there is a growing understanding of the desirability and even the need for cooperation in the energy field with Russia. For the countries of Southern and South-Eastern Europe, the South Stream project plays a key role, against which the European Commission launched a large-scale campaign from the very beginning. The Russian-Italian Memorandum of Understanding, signed in June 2007 between Gazprom and ENI, was the first document in the framework of the South Stream project implementation. In November of the same year, Gazprom and ENI signed an agreement in Moscow to establish a joint venture to prepare a feasibility study for the project. The company with a ratio of 50% to 50%, designed to develop and implement a project for the construction of a gas pipeline with an initial capacity of 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year, was registered in Switzerland in January 2008. At the same time, the preliminary Russian-Bulgarian agreement on Bulgaria’s participation in the project and the creation of a joint venture responsible for the construction of the Bulgarian section of the gas pipeline was ratified (and 2008 was ratified in July). As for the other key member of South Stream, Serbia, preliminary agreements with it were signed even before the official announcement of the project, namely in December 2006 of the year.
In case of possible political complications, the Russian side prepared a reserve option for gas transportation to northern Italy - through the territories of Croatia and Slovenia and further to the Austrian gas distribution station in Arnoldstadt. In November 2009 of the year, following the results of the Russian-Slovenian negotiations in Moscow, an agreement was signed, which provided for the construction of a branch from the main trunk pipe of the gas pipeline running through Slovenia to Northern Italy. And in March 2010, similar agreements were reached with the Croatian side. In addition, the concern MOL, in coordination with Gazprom, prepared a possible replacement in advance: if the Austrian side finally refuses to participate in the project, the role of the gas distribution station in Baumgarten will assume a similar facility in the Hungarian town of Varoshfeld.
The countries of Central Europe are also in favor of an energy partnership with Russia. In particular, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nechas during a meeting with Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, which took place on 27 in May this year, stressed that he considers energy to be the “key area” of bilateral cooperation.  This is not only the maximum utilization of the capacity of the Druzhba pipeline (as the world's largest system of trunk pipelines running through the territory including the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and Germany), but also the construction of an underground gas storage facility. The start of its construction in Damborice (South Moravia) is scheduled for 2014 year. Its capacity will be 448 million cubic meters. If we consider that since January 2013, the Czech Republic has already been connected to the Nord Stream gas pipeline, then it is clear that it can become an energy bridge in relations between the EU and Russia. 
Moreover, there are real prospects for the creation in Central Europe of a large regional network focused on receiving and distributing Russian gas. These issues, in particular, will be discussed on June 16 in Warsaw at a meeting of the Visegrad Group (Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia). It will be a question of signing a “road map” on the creation of a common gas market for these states. In the course of the talks held recently by the Presidents of Poland and the Czech Republic Bronislaw Komorowski and Milos Zeman in Warsaw, the Polish leader stressed the importance of implementing multilateral projects “connecting the gas and electricity corridors at the border”. 
In the meantime, the official EU statistical agency Eurostat has released new data on gas prices. It follows from them that in the second half of 2012, these prices in the EU countries increased by 10,3% compared to the second half of 2011. The largest growth was recorded in Latvia (21%), Estonia (19%) and Bulgaria (18%).  In Bulgaria, this circumstance was the main reason for the massive anti-government protests that led to the fall of the cabinet of Boyko Borisov.
The task of meeting the growing energy needs of the European Union is becoming increasingly important. And without Russia in solving this problem is not enough. However, for this it is necessary to eliminate the main irritant in the relations of Moscow and Brussels in the energy field - the imposition of the Third Energy Package on the Russian side. This was once again stressed by Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's Permanent Representative to the European Communities, speaking on May 29 in the European Parliament at the second meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Working Group on Energy. He called on the European Union to remove from the actions of this package transboundary energy projects. “In fact, the guarantees of investments in large energy projects in Europe today are not the effect of the“ third energy package ”, but the provision of exemptions to certain projects from it,” the Russian diplomat emphasized. As an example, he cited the decision of the European Commission to remove the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (Azerbaijan - Greece - Albania - Italy) from 25 years from the "third energy package". 
Surely, the European Union would make concessions to Russia in an area so important for both sides as energy supplies, if not for the US position. For Washington, Russia's maximum isolation from the energy markets is a strategic issue, since "dependence on energy producers is incompatible with the unipolar world and poses a real threat to the status of the United States as the only superpower."  It is not by chance that such close attention in the Pax Americana concept is paid to the so-called “Greater Middle East”, which accounts for 62% of proven world oil reserves and more than 40% gas.  According to Noam Chomsky, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the US foreign policy course, “the main tasks of global domination, formulated in the post-war period, have retained their relevance to this day.” To these tasks, Noam Chomsky refers to "maintaining control over the main sources of energy in the world."  It is worth recalling that even in 1945, the US State Department declared energy resources “one of the most attractive trophies in the world stories". 
So, putting forward obviously unacceptable requirements for Russian partners, the European Union plays according to American, and not at all according to its own, not according to European rules.
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 The New York Times, 11.06.2008.
 The Financial Times, 03.02.2012.
 The Guardian, 21.02.2011.
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