European countries have been producing onshore oil and gas for decades
and all countries are now in permanent decline.
There also seems to be very little potential for new offshore production
with both the Black and Baltic Seas in Eastern Europe apparently having
poor geological potential.
The economies of Eastern Europe were recovering after the
break up of the Soviet Union and as membership of the European Union
enhanced investment. However the 2008/2009 recession hit the region
severely and oil consumption is likely to remain flat at best, at least
in the short term, after declining from 2007. Gas consumption fell in
2007 but demand should pick up again after 2009 whilst supplies become
more freely available for a period.
With declining indigenous production and growing demand, gas import
requirements are growing. This is both to satisfy economic growth and
for fuel substitution. Meanwhile oil imports will remain flat as a
result of high prices and poor economic growth.