With the Ukraine Crisis, Europe Turned Its Eyes to Shale Gas for Energy Security. While the energy security of Europe gained importance again with the Ukraine crisis, England, Poland, Romania and Ukraine started to focus on shale gas to reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas. The said countries became the pioneers of the EU in this regard by distributing licenses to private companies in the exploration and extraction of shale gas.
While the energy security of Europe gained importance again with the Ukraine crisis, England, Poland, Romania and Ukraine started to focus on shale gas to reduce their dependence on Russian natural gas.
In the draft text prepared for the European Union (EU) summit held in Brussels, it was stated that Europe's energy dependence on Russia is "worrying", and that Europe's domestic resources such as shale gas should be used more.
Poland, England, Romania and Ukraine have become the EU's leading countries in this field by starting to distribute licenses to private companies in the exploration and extraction of shale gas.
European Commission Press Spokesperson Sabine Berger said that they are aware of the potential importance of shale gas in terms of energy diversity. However, stating that the authority to invest in this resource is in the member states, Berger stated that the commission's financial support to the private sector is not on the agenda at the moment.
Berger noted that he would constantly inform the commission about the effects of shale gas projects carried out by member states on the environment and industry, and that they would notify the commission of the measures they put into practice every year as of December 2014.
On the other hand, the EU Commission, which has issued a flexible regulation for shale gas, left the authority to the member states for the potential effects of shale gas on the environment.
THE RICHEST RESERVES IN THE EU ARE IN POLAND
It is estimated that Poland has the richest shale gas reserves among the EU countries. According to the figures of the American Energy Administration (EIA), the country's shale gas reserves are 4,1 trillion cubic meters. The Polish government, which wanted to take advantage of this potential, granted tax exemption to shale gas until 11, with the law enacted on 2020 March. With this decision, Poland plans to attract foreign investors to the country for the exploration and extraction of shale gas in the country.
France is the country with the richest reserves after Poland. France's shale gas reserves are estimated to be about 3,8 trillion cubic meters. However, the hydraulic fracturing technique used to extract shale gas is banned in France.
French President François Hollande announced in 2012 that the share of nuclear in the country's energy production would be reduced from 75 percent to 50 percent. Filling the resulting energy deficit with shale gas is seen as one of the possible options.
REMOVED BY HYDRAULIC FRACTURE TECHNIQUE
In the hydraulic fracturing technique, rocks 2 to 5 kilometers deep into the ground are cracked with water sprayed with high pressure from pipes laid horizontally. When the pressurized water, which also contains some chemicals, stops, the gas from the cracked rocks fills the wells.
The hydraulic fracturing technique used in the extraction of the gas is the reason why Europe has so far abstained from the discovery and extraction of shale gas. Some experts suggest that this technique could have negative effects on the environment. It is stated that the process, which takes place thousands of kilometers below the ground, can pollute groundwater and soil, and that the fracturing process can trigger earthquakes.
Since the environmental legislation of the European Union was prepared before the hydraulic fracturing technique was used, the potential effects of the technique used in the discovery and extraction of shale gas on the environment cannot be clearly evaluated.