End of Russia's gas export dominance?

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Is Russia's dominance in gas exports coming to an end? This is the conclusion of GBI Research in its latest report.

European shale prospects could reshape the continent's energy market dynamics by easing reliance on Russian natural gas imports, according to GBI.

Unconventional gas reserves in Europe, including tight gas, shale gas and coal bed methane, are estimated at around 3,500 trillion cubic feet, according to the International Energy Agency -- more than enough to sustain the continent's gas demand for the next 60 years.

Russia, however, provided around a third of the 16.5 trillion cubic feet of European natural gas imports last year alone, making self-sustainability a risky proposition and damaging to the Eastern European nation's hydrocarbon export sector. Further, shale play exploitation is expected to provide the U.S. with enough gas to meet domestic demand and place it in a positive position to export gas to the lucrative Asian market at a lower price than Russia.

In the meantime, however, Europe faces a number of challenges before it reaches its shale gas potential, including geological, environmental and political issues.

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