developing. This is the main method of extracting shale gas. New technology is aimed first and foremost at reducing environmental risks. There is another challenge around the corner, the extraction of shale oil by means of fracking. There have been announcements that by the end of the decade, the USA is expected to become the biggest oil producer in the world thanks to this method. However, this is a slightly longer-term prospect and the gas market is where the most rapid changes are taking place. Qatar as one of the biggest gas producers in the world should be expected to play an active role in the diversification of European supplies. Bulgaria in particular is seriously affected by the monopoly supplies of Gasprom. And since the Black Sea does not have liquefied gas terminals due to problems transmitting dangerous goods through the Bosphorous, the idea is to construct such a terminal on the Mediterranean Greek coast at Alexandropolis, which could supply a number of countries such as the Balkans and Eastern Europe. There is no clear answer to this question of why such a terminal has not yet been constructed in the world, but clearly the answer lies in the competition of Gasprom. In recent years the commercial and economic relations between Bulgaria and Qatar have made significant progress. In terms of agriculture, construction and tourism, there are a number of areas of joint activity. However, the energy sphere has for some reason lagged behind, even though Qatar is one of the leaders in this area. Other very important fields of cooperation could be the production of equipment, drills, pipes and other parts for the forthcoming rise in shale gas pro-

Dr.Dimitar Ivanov about bussines

duction in Europe. Despite European sluggishness in administering and investing in such activities, these developments have no other alternative. Bulgaria has a good industrial basis and in cooperation with American, European and other companies it could become a manufacturer of such equipment, for which I can imagine there will be an enormous market over the next decades. Another interesting area for cooperation is the scientific and technological development and modernization of fracking methods. There are many aspects in which this method could develop in the future. Although many of the best professionals in this area are working abroad, there is still significant potential. I stress again that in cooperation with the

leading laboratories and universities, there is a likelihood of very good results. There might be some people who would be surprised at the idea of Qatari companies investing in areas which at first glance appear to be in competition with the primary activity of the country. With such great experience, good positioning and good financial possibilities, it would be a pity to miss out on the chance to participate in the industry of the future. There is a saying in Bulgaria, "Man supposes, God disposes", and the best analysts must know that intuition and imagination are the best advisors. Very frequently logic fails and we are surprised because we forget that things are guided by a higher will.

World Computer Center

BUSINESS

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