EU Must Respond to The Shale Revolution

From Financial Times

By Alan Riley

Amid the endless debates across the world on the safety of fracking, policy makers are missing the bigger picture. The ability to extract fossil fuels trapped in shale rock using advanced horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing and 3D seismic surveying is the most significant development in the energy industry for at least half a century.

The shale revolution implodes the 80:10 resource ratio – that 80 per cent of oil and gas are to be found in the nations of the Opec oil producers’ cartel or Russia, and only 10 per cent in OECD countries and China. Energy can now be extracted from shale worldwide, most significantly in China and the US, but also in Europe.

However, even if they never extract one molecule of energy from shale, Europeans cannot ignore its consequences. It will reshape the continent’s geostrategic position. Positively, shale gas developed elsewhere will reinforce Europe’s supply security, either through excess conventional liquefied natural gas being diverted to its markets or by shale gas being shipped as LNG.

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