Lithuanian officials say U.S. energy giant Chevron was the only company to qualify for a shale gas exploration license sold on tender this week.
The license is for a field in western Lithuania, an area near the Baltic Sea where a minuscule amount of crude oil is extracted by several small firms. Last year Chevron bought a 50 percent stake in one of these firms, LL Investicijos.
The head of the Lithuanian Geological Service, Juozas Mockevicius, said Tuesday that the license winner, which will be officially announced next month, will have to invest 80 million litas ($30 million) in the new field.
Lithuanian officials are eager to determine whether shale gas production is viable since the small Baltic country currently imports all its gas needs from Russia.