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ExxonMobil to push German shale gas option

US ExxonMobil will continue to press on with unconventional gas exploration in Germany despite opposition to new drilling methods.

(Germany) is most definitely an interesting market. We cannot achieve the energy strategy shift without gas,” Gernot Kalkoffen, Exxon Mobil Central Europe head, said in an interview with the Handelsblatt business daily. “The gas infrastructure is good and gas is in demand in Germany,” he added.

The company estimates Germany has 827bnm3 of gas resources, including 80% located in unconventional deposits, spread over 16 German states. Moving on with its planned exploitation of these reserves, ExxonMobil was awaiting research findings due in March on whether fracking could harm groundwater.

Fracking is controversial as it requires large amounts of water and chemicals. As environmental groups have voiced their concerns, some governments responded by banning its use or demanding more time to study the effects of the technique on the surrounding environment.

Meanwhile, Kalkoffen said early work in populous North-Rhine Westphalia would be carried out, but added that there was a 50% chance that fracking may not be required.

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