ExxonMobil in Europe’s Shale Gas Fields: Quitting Early or Fighting It Out?

Marc Naumann, Anne Philippi


This article focuses on the oil and gas supermajor, ExxonMobil, and its business in the unconventional gas field in Europe. The purpose was to investigate whether and how ExxonMobil runs its natural gas operations differently among European countries and possible reasons for divergent strategies. After a brief introduction of the firm, ExxonMobil’s approach in Europe in general will be discussed. Two countries are in focus: Poland and Germany. The key finding is that the firm indeed has shown different approaches and strategies. In Poland, ExxonMobil faced a supportive, positive environment but quit quickly when its small investment resulted only in disappointing results. The firm, however, was a newcomer which had not much to lose. In contrast, its German unconventional gas operations are connected to broad conventional activities and are being defended by an extensive effort to win back public support.

Keywords: energy, energy policy, ExxonMobil, fracking, Germany, hydraulic fracturing, Poland, public acceptance, regulatory politics, shale gas, unconventional gas, USA

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Technische Hochschule Wildau [FH] - Technical University of Applied Sciences, Wildau, Germany