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Shale gas drilling to contribute 2pct to GDP, cut gas prices by 15-25pct (Romanian Academy expert)

The shale gas drilling will contribute 2 percent to the Romanian gross domestic product (GDP) and will cut the natural gas price in the market by some 15 percent to 25 percent, the Romanian Academy's energy expert Ionut Purica told a Friday conference on shale gas.

Purica is one of the authors of the survey entitled Natural Gas Resources from Unconventional Deposits - Potential and Capitalization, worked out by 43 experts of the Romanian National Committee of the World Energy Council.

The expert explained that if Romania begins extracting the shale gas by around 2019 - 2020, it will become a gas exporter in the 2025 timeframe.

'At present, the gas import bill accounts for 1.5 percent of GDP, which at this moment compares to the defence budget, for example. But if we export, we will actually reach a situation in which we will get another 0.5 percent in GPD inflows. Therefore, an overall 2 percent contribution to GDP', Purica stressed.

As for the price, the additional gas quantity will prompt a 15 - 25 percent drop in the gas tariffs, he added.

'Given such price cut, we will be able to witness re-industrialization, given that the energy-consuming industry still has a large share of the Romanian GDP: I speak of the steel industry, aluminium and fertilizers industries, petro-chemistry. To say nothing of the residential consumers', Purica argued.

According to him, as many as 19,000 jobs, either direct or indirect might be created in the sites currently owned Chevron.