Author Topic: Why Europe Won’t Exploit Its Huge Gas Reserves  (Read 62 times)

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Offline Ptarmigan

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Why Europe Won’t Exploit Its Huge Gas Reserves
« on: September 11, 2022, 09:03:04 PM »
Why Europe Won’t Exploit Its Huge Gas Reserves

-Estimates show that Europe has more recoverable shale gas than the U.S.
-Despite its huge gas reserves, hydraulic fracturing has many opponents in Europe.
-Fracking in Europe has long been a contentious issue because of population density.

As energy prices continue to soar across Europe, with gas prices surging 26% on Monday after Russia stopped pumping via Nord Stream 1, the highly contentious fracking debate is now re-emerging on the continent, led by a new British prime minister with fossil fuels on her mind.  The European Union–which no longer includes the UK–plans to replace two-thirds of Russian gas imports by the end of the year, though analysts warn that the bloc’s best shot at replacing Russian gas imports will fall well short of the target.

In 2021, the EU imported ~155 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas from Russia. Unfortunately, the bloc’s proposed gas replacements by the end of 2022--which include LNG (liquefied natural gas) diversification, renewables, heating efficiency, pipeline diversification, biomethane, solar rooftops and heat pumps--only amount to around 102 bcm annually, according to data from the EU Commission’s REPowerEU.

Proponents of fracking hold that Europe’s shale gas potential is needed now more than ever, though Germany, France, the Netherlands, Scotland and Bulgaria have all previously banned fracking. Now, the debate is being revived by recent moves in the UK.

Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss has announced that the UK is lifting a 2019 moratorium on shale gas fracking as the country looks to ramp up domestic energy resources and help households and businesses struggling to pay soaring energy bills.

Europe has plenty of natural gas they drill out. However, there is opposition to it.

Shale Gas In Europe

Europe has more recoverable shale gas than the U.S., according to estimates. However, the only major fracking activity is in Ukraine, which managed to wean itself off of Russian gas years ago.

Fracking in Europe has long been a contentious issue because of population density, in large part. This isn’t North America.

In 2016, Cuadrilla Resources won permission to frack as many as four wells in the UK, putting an end to years’ long battles with local authorities. Five years prior, the company had been forced to cease drilling after the government placed a one-year moratorium on fracking due to tremors caused by an exploratory Cuadrilla rig in northwestern England. In 2013, the company’s drilling activity was disrupted again after hundreds of protesters camped in a tiny village south of London and forced it to abandon its wells.

Meanwhile, in 2012, protesters in Zurawlow, a town in eastern Poland, successfully blockaded a fracking site while Greenpeace activists occupied a shale gas rig in Denmark.

Europe has more shale gas than America.
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