It's likely U.S. energy company Chevron will be granted the right to drill for natural gas in Lithuania. Officials announced the energy giant is set to win a license for the shale natural gas exploration in the western part of the country near the Baltic Sea, according to an Associated Press report. Chevron said it hopes to begin exploring the field this year.
The shale gas field is estimated to contain between 50 billion and 60 billion cubic meters of gas reserves, the article stated. That amount could meet the country's gas consumption ratefor 20 years. The exploration in Lithuania can help the country reduce its energy dependency on Russia, which currently supplies all of its gas.
Along with Chevron, Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius said he is sure other foreign companies will be encouraged to explore for natural gas in Lithuania, according to the AP. If Chevron does receive a license to drill, the company will have to invest $30 million in the new gas field.
UPI reported Chevron is so far the only company to bid for the shale exploration. However, companies from Poland and the Ukraine are other countries that have expressed interest in the field.