Extraction of natural gas from shale has led to an industrial renaissance in the United States while at the same time reducing carbon emissions and helping to change the global geopolitics of energy.
In Europe, the same, proven technology has the potential to increase the security of energy supplies and deliver progress in relation to the EU’s own carbon reduction targets.
The development of shale gas in Europe could:
- Add as many as one million jobs to the economy
- Make industry more competitive
- Decrease the region’s dependence on energy imports
In a 2013 report,Independent consultancies Poyry Management Consulting and Cambridge Econometrics quantified for the first time how much Europe’s economy could benefit from domestic shale gas production. Shale gas could add a total of 1.7 trillion to 3.8 trillion euros to the economy between 2020 and 2050.
We cannot afford to forego such an opportunity; every cubic meter of gas produced from EU shale resources means one cubic meter less of imported gas. That would translate into more jobs, more disposable income, better security of supply and ultimately more prosperity.
Our leaflet Energising Europe’s Future shows EU legislators how oil and gas can benefit Europe.
Public concerns over gas from shale can only be addressed through the open sharing of information and knowledge. We know that early dialogue with local communities is the most important element of maintaining the trust necessary for successful development.
As part of our efforts to build trust we have developed a number of resources for the industry.
- We initiated a Transparency Initiative for European drilling projects. NGSFACTS.org is a public hydraulic fracturing disclosure website where members of the public can search for nearby well sites that have been hydraulically fractured to see what chemicals were used to fracture natural gas resources on a well-by-well basis.
- To ensure a better understanding of the gas from shale process, we have produced a series of Gas from Shale FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) – factual information that answers questions on hydraulic fracturing and seismicity, water, greenhouse gases and chemicals. The document contains answers to thirty-two questions regarding shale gas and hydraulic fracturing. Many of these are accompanied with graphics, and are third party-referenced throughout.
- Water management is one of the concerns about shale gas operations. To show how the proven and reliable techniques the industry has been using and upgrading for decades are effective in mitigating the impact on the environment we published Recovered Water Management Study in Shale Wells. This study was prepared by independent consultant Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
- For the majority of issues, good practices for shale oil and gas operations will be identical to those for ‘conventional’ operations. Given the high level of public interest in shale oil and gas operations, we published Good Practice Guidelines for the development of shale oil and gas. It provides insights into how safety, environmental, health and community aspects may be addressed. This information may also be used to structure discussions between stakeholders and operators at local level.
Existing regulations reduces risk
Existing regulations reduces risk
We recognize that the effective implementation of regulations is an important factor in reducing risk for all gas operations.
The exploration and production of natural gas in Europe is one of the most highly regulated processes in the world. In fact, gas from shale development is regulated by 17 different pieces of EU legislation, as well as a strong existing regulatory regime at national and local level.
What is gas from shale
What is gas from shale?
Gas from shale – extracted from sedimentary rock of organically rich mud and clay – is the same as any other natural gas.
Among hydrocarbons, natural gas is the most affordable, cleanest burning and most useful fuel. It is also abundant. According to International Energy Agency figures, recoverable resources of natural gas from shale (along with coal bed methane and tight gas worldwide), almost double recoverable gas resources at current technology and prices.
Although geologists have known about gas from shale for decades, development was for many years uneconomic. In the late 1990s, a combination of two proven technologies – horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing – made gas from shale commercially viable. In the US, gas from shale has already transformed the nation’s energy market and is expected to meet almost half of gas demand by 2030. There is also the potential for US LNG exports.