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Crews focus on gas lines in New York building explosion

By Victoria Cavaliere NEW YORK (Reuters) - Emergency crews clearing debris from the site of two New York City apartment buildings leveled in a gas explosion four days ago said they expected to reach an underground area on Sunday where natural gas lines could reveal what caused the deadly blast. Eight people were killed when the five-story buildings exploded in the East Harlem neighborhood early on Wednesday, just moments after a resident called 911 to complain of the smell of gas.

Europe to find it difficult to wean itself off Russian gas

Europe will have trouble weaning itself off Russian natural gas, analysts say, as its faces declining production at home and Asian competition for supplies. Even before the current flare up of tensions with Russia over its de facto occupation and possible annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula, Europe has been trying to reduce its dependence on Russian supplies.

Rescuers search site of NY building collapse; seven dead

By Chris Francescani and Victoria Cavaliere NEW YORK (Reuters) - Search crews picked through still-smoldering rubble on Thursday, looking for survivors of a gas explosion that caused the collapse a day earlier of two New York City apartment buildings, killing seven people and injuring about 40. Facing thick smoke and braving bitter cold, dozens of firefighters, police officers and federal investigators were at the scene in Upper Manhattan to determine what caused the explosion at about 9:30 a.m. (13:30 GMT) on Wednesday.

Poland's government drafts law to support shale gas exploration and limit dependence on Russia

WARSAW, Poland - Poland's government has adopted a draft law designed to speed up shale gas exploration and reduce dependence on Russian supplies, the prime minister said Tuesday. Poland, which imports about 70 per cent of its gas from Russia, is seeking to exploit its shale gas deposits, but complicated legislation has been an obstacle and discouraged some foreign energy firms. Donald Tusk said that Ukraine's conflict with gas supplier Russia adds to the importance of the legislation. Put on fast track, it could take effect this year.

Shale gas extraction tax-free in Poland through 2020

The Polish government on Tuesday decided to make it tax-free to extract shale gas at home through 2020, as the EU member strives to ensure energy independence from Russia. Poland's shale gas reserves are estimated at between 800 to 2,000 billion cubic metres and many local and foreign companies have already sunk test wells. "We adopted measures that should encourage shale gas exploration," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk told reporters on Tuesday. He added that after 2020, taxes "shouldn't exceed 40 percent of extraction income".

Natural gas drillers have drummed up new demand, but haven't shown they can deliver supplies

HOUSTON - America's plan to use more natural gas to run power plants, make chemicals, drive vehicles and heat homes may not go as smoothly as expected. There's plenty of natural gas in the ground, everyone seems to agree. But the harsh weather this winter shows there are obstacles to producing it, and more pipelines have to be built.

U.S. mulls how to use natgas resources in Ukraine crisis: top official

By Patricia Zengerle and Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There are discussions going on at high levels within the U.S. government on how to use U.S. natural gas resources as the country addresses the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said on Thursday.

U.S. considers how to use natural gas resources in Ukraine crisis: top official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There are discussions at high levels within the U.S. government on how to use U.S. natural gas resources as the country addresses the crisis in Ukraine, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said on Thursday. U.S. Senator Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, asked Burns if "it would be fair to say" there are active discussions at such levels about how to use natural gas to ease European reluctance to enact sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, and to help Ukraine.

Poland can manage without Russian gas

Poland could handle being cut off from Russian supplies of natural gas by turning to other sources and improving domestic infrastructure, Prime Minister Donald Tusk said Wednesday. "The current gas reserves and the fact that winter is coming to an end allow us to say that Poland is no longer vulnerable to possible gas sanctions on the part of our neighbour to the east," Tusk told parliament. The EU country of 38 million currently imports 10.5 billion cubic metres of gas from Russia each year, about two-thirds of its demand.

Ukraine crisis new rallying point for U.S. energy export backers

By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Supporters of U.S. energy exports have pounced on the crisis in Ukraine to press their case for faster approvals of liquid natural gas (LNG) projects and for an end to the decades-long ban on exports of most U.S. crude oil.
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