Russia’s extensive reserves of conventional gas mean shale production is not yet a viable option.
The decision to boost energy co-operation was taken by RussianPresident Vladimir Putin and British Prime Minister David Cameron at a recent meeting.
London wants to find new sources of raw materials, while Moscow wants to increase sales in Europe.
Despite the lack of ready-built pipelines, Gazprom is already involved in the UK market. Gazprom Marketing and Trading already sells gas there although the fuel it trades is not from Siberia.
The company acquires gas through swap deals, and the expansion of its customer base in Britain is making the idea of running a separate gas pipeline to the British Isles a viable option.
Gazprom has been accused of sleeping through the global shale revolution but production in Russia is simply not profitable. “It’s out of the question for at least 20 years,” says the director of the Russian National Energy Security Fund, Konstantin Simonov.