July 21, 2014 Print

While European nations like the UK and Romania ramp up exploration and production of natural gas from shale, Bulgaria remains on the sidelines, potentially missing out on this economic boom. Atlas Network partner Institute for Market Economics in Bulgaria recently released a forecast report estimating social and economic impacts for various production scenarios. The most conservative of these would introduce more than 25,000 new jobs to Bulgaria’s economy, with as many as 39,000 jobs predicted if full production potential is realized. Natural gas meets roughly 13 percent of Bulgaria’s current energy demand, but only 10 percent of its natural gas is produced domestically. By expanding to shale production, the IME report makes clear Bulgaria could significantly improve its domestic energy landscape and reduce unemployment.