Europe is getting fed up with Russia. After being left to freeze during the annual Russian-Ukrainian gas spat, the Eurozone has decided its had enough of the schizophrenic gasbag, and the trailer-trash instigator. Europe is looking to take matter into its own hands, and secure its gas future.
This won't be easy. Europe is experiencing declining production in the midst of increasing demand - consumption has risen 70% since 1990! Still, Europe is cradled in an enviable part of the world where others, bloated with gas, are willing to deal for "developed" currency: Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Importing from a variety of sources could induce Russia and Ukraine to straighten out their act.
According to Businessweek, Europe's key banks and the EU presidency have reached an informal agreement to financial and political backing for the Nabucco pipeline. If constructed, this 2,050 mile winding snake will sip up gas from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, cut through Turkey and the Balkans, and make delivery in Central Europe - cutting out the Jerry Springer sparring partners.
Europe has also taken note to America's recent success with shale gas. GASH, an interdisciplinary shale gas research program, has recently begun a six-year initiative to map possible shale gas sites in Europe. Western Europe may possess 510 Tcf of shale gas (Canada is also looking into the same game).
Additional Russian-European pipelines that bypass Ukraine are also being considered.