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Shale gas could alter European market dynamics, as demand rebounds

E.On expects gas-demand growth in Europe this year, but shale-gas development could fundamentally alter the continent's market, leaving Gazprom out in the cold

UNCONVENTIONAL gas is shaking up the energy world. That much is true at the corporate level, at least. ExxonMobil's December take-over of XTO, a big shale-gas player, was the most obvious sign of that. Other independent producers will probably also be gobbled up soon. But at what point will the world's conventional gas producers, such as Russia's Gazprom, begin to worry that their business models are under threat? The shale-gas optimists, such as BP boss Tony Hayward, talk of a "revolution" under way in the energy sector because of the new unconventional resources that are now considered exploitable (including coal-bed methane, which is already causing excitement in Australia, and so-ca

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