Spain’s Oil And Shale Deposits Trigger Energy Gold Rush

  • Date: 27/03/14
  • Stephen Burgen, The Guardian

Major offshore oil discoveries and prospects for shale gas extraction are generating excitement – and resistance. Deloitte predicts that Spain could become a gas exporter by 2031.

Spain is already the world’s largest olive oil producer but now it’s looking to a very different kind of oil to pull it out of economic decline: petroleum.

The discovery of two significant offshore deposits, and prospects for fracking in many areas, have triggered a black-gold rush, with demand for exploration permits up 35% since 2012.

report published this week by Deloitte says the oil industry could create 250,000 jobs and constitute 4.3% of GDP by 2065. The report is based on an estimate of 2bn barrels of oil and 2.5bn cubic metres of gas.

The oil companies estimate that the deposits in a series of oilfields off the Canaries, the latest of which was confirmed last week, amount to 500m barrels of crude.

Deloitte predicts that Spain could become a gas exporter by 2031 while producing 20% of the oil it consumes.

With 6 million people unemployed and an economy that shows only feeble signs of recovery, the Spanish government seems ready to brush aside environmental concerns and give the green light to the oil companies.

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