Easy Does It: European Commission Advances Shale Fracking

  • Date: 08/07/14
  • Chris Tomlinson, Houston Chronicle

Once approved – and it would be naive to believe fracking won’t be approved – drill companies with strong environmental track records will find opportunities drilling into European shale.

The European Commission on Tuesday established the European Science and Technology Network on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction to review test wells, examine the technology and determine if fracking is the right thing for Europe. Pronouncements that fracking was dead on arrival in Europe were clearly exaggerated.

The network plans on “bringing together practitioners from industry, research, academia as well as civil society. The Network will collect, analyse and review results from exploration projects as well as assess the development of technologies used in unconventional gas and oil projects.”

The launch comes as Europe remains divided on whether to allow fracking. Seventeen countries have issued permits, while five countries, including France, have banned it.

Europe presently depends on Russia for most of its natural gas, and that has cause a diplomatic schism within the EU on how to deal with the crisis in Ukraine. Some countries do not want to bite the hand that heats them in the winter. [...]

Once approved – and it would be naive to believe fracking won’t be approved – U.S. companies with strong environmental track records will find opportunities drilling into European shale.

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