Germany should not ban fracking, but should set tough rules – experts

06 September 2012 15:54  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany should not impose an all-out ban on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) but rather impose strict rules on the technology used to explore and produce shale and other unconventional gas, an expert group said in a report on Thursday.

In the report, prepared for Germany’s environment minister, the experts said that the country should not allow fracking near ground and drinking water reserves, and it should strictly supervise chemicals and fluids used in fracking.

Environment minister Peter Altmaier said he welcomed the experts’ recommendations.

“Before Germany will allow fracking, all concerns must be clarified,” he added.

A number of firms, including BASF’s Wintershall oil and gas unit and US major ExxonMobil, are interested in exploring Germany's unconventional gas reserves. The country’s shale gas reserves have been estimated at between 700bn-2,300bn cubic metres.

The experts' report is available, in German, on the environment ministry’s website.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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