Shale gas in North America and Europe

Stephenson, Michael H.. 2016 Shale gas in North America and Europe. Energy Science & Engineering, 4 (1). 4-13.

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According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, shale gas will provide half of the United States’ domestic gas by 2035. The United States has already moved from being one of the world's largest importers of gas to being self-sufficient in less than a decade, bringing hundreds of thousands of jobs and attracting back companies that long ago left America in search of cheap manufacturing costs. But the increase in shale gas extraction has also had an environmental cost. There is clear scientific evidence of leaking shale gas wells and induced earthquakes, and in some areas a population increasingly turning against the industry. The technology of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that was developed in the United States is now being tried outside the United States, including in Europe, Argentina, and China. There are clear reasons why shale gas might be attractive to Europe. It may offer security of energy supply to some countries particularly dependent on Russian gas; it could stimulate growth and jobs; and it could supply a cleaner fuel than coal in power stations. However, prospective shale often underlies areas of high population density in Europe, and moreover, populations that are unfamiliar with onshore gas operations. The main challenge in Europe therefore is not mainly technological but for the industry to achieve a “social license” and for Government and regulations to be manifestly protecting the public and property.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 20500505
Date made live: 03 Nov 2015 09:40 +0 (UTC)

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