Shale gas is not a national issue, it is a European issue. Several national shale gas initiatives have already been started, but they look into the topic primarily from the individual member states’ needs and points of view. It is, however, important to share knowledge, data and experience to obtain the best possible decision bases for all member states. Shale Gas basins are not restricted within national borders and neither should the knowledge.
The European R&D institutions will provide independent research based knowledge for the public, politicians and decision makers. Public perception is a critical issue for all decision makers, and the public and politicians should get access to more balanced information sources than casual internet videos made by activists or streamlined information from industry lobbyists. In those areas where shale gas activities are undertaken, there is also a need for independent R&D in order to ensure continuous efforts to develop and use technology with less environmental impact.
It is not possible to directly copy US shale gas production strategies. European gas shales are often located deeper and some have different rock properties. They are also present in more density populated areas. It is therefore necessary to evaluate different production strategies. More innovation will be needed in Europe compared to USA, and the industry will need support from R&D.
The main objective is to align and share research activities at EERA institutes related to Shale Gas exploration and production activities that cover the whole Shale Gas value chain for both industry and government. These R&D topics are divided into the following sub programmes
- Assessment of shale gas potential
- Technology for safe exploitation
- Environmental impact & footprint
- Energy and Carbon Efficiencies and Emissions to Air
- Regulations, market and policy issues
- Public perception
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