The European Union have launched a range of plans and strategies aimed at addressing the central issues around energy provision throughout the union. Although other countries with large amounts of shale gas reserves, such as the United States, have exploited the so-called ‘shale revolution’, EU member states still heavily rely on gas imports.
Political tensions in Ukraine brought the issue of energy security to the forefront of policy discussions in 2014, with the EU Commission introducing the European Energy Security Strategy, in an attempt to create a more diversified energy supply.
European Energy Security Strategy
The strategy itself conveys the importance of including shale gas in the EU energy mix, as “producing oil and gas from unconventional sources in Europe, and especially shale gas, could partially compensate for declining conventional gas production provided issues of public acceptance and environmental impact are adequately addressed,” according to the European Energy Security Strategy.
There are a number of key points in the Strategy, with the most relevant being the need to increase energy production in the European Union. On an EU level a more detailed and accurate assessment of shale gas reserves is vital to ascertain if extraction can be undertaken on a commercial scale.
When a greater number of member states have new and precise shale gas reserve figures, commercial entities will be more likely to begin exploration and extraction across the continent. The argument for shale gas is getting stronger as other more traditional forms of energy are either increasing in price or becoming harder to obtain.
The full article, along with all maps and graphs, is available in Issue 1 of Shale Gas International Magazine and can be found on page 28.