Support to the identification of potential risks for the environment and human health arising from hydrocarbons operations involving hydraulic fracturing in Europe

CE Delft participated in a consortium, lead by AEA, which assessed the potential risks for the environment and human health arising from shale gas production (hydraulic fracturing) in Europe. As readily accessible oil and gas reserves are becoming progressively limited, the energy supply industry is turning more to “unconventional” reserves, which were previously too complex or too expensive to extract, like shale gas. There are significant shale gas reserves in Europe. Permission is being sought in many EU Member States for exploratory works and to bring forward projects for hydraulic fracturing and extraction of shale gas. As with any drilling and extraction process, shale gas extraction brings environmental and health risks which need to be understood and addressed. CE Delft conducted the legal assessment on shale gas related EU legislation. Gaps and uncertainties have been addressed, but no real risks within the legislation have been discovered. A large part of the shale gas related legislation is part of the individual member states legislation and not directly addressed by EU legislation.

Report for the European Commission, DG Environment

the report

Authors CE

Harry Croezen
Jasper Faber

Delft, August 2012