Numerous natural gas related companies are fanning out across Europe to find gas trapped in shale. Hydraulic fracturing is the technology that is making this difficult to obtain gas, cheap and easy to grab. The potential for these reserves is very large, up to six times Europe's current reserve level (or 40 years worth of imported gas) according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). These discoveries are helping countries to lower their gas import bills and increase their revenue from export gas. It will also negate the meddling political influence of Russia over Europe, because the EU wouldn't rely on Russia for it's energy needs. … "European Exploration of Shale Gas" has a significant impact, so an analyst should put more weight into it. "European Exploration of Shale Gas" is a difficult qualitative factor to defend, so competing institutions will have an easy time overcoming it.