European Parliament urges robust rules for shale gas fracking

21 November 2012 14:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The European Parliament wants EU member states to implement “robust regulatory regimes” for hydraulic fracturing (fracking) – the technology used in shale gas exploration and production, Parliament said in two resolutions passed on Wednesday.

At the same time, the parliament acknowledged that each member state has the right to decide on its own whether or not to explore shale gas.

In particular, the parliament rejected an amendment urging member states not to authorise any new fracking operations in the EU. The amendment had been proposed by parliamentarians from various political groups.

In its resolutions, the parliament said that the 27 EU member states should be cautious about permitting exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels, pending further analysis of whether EU-level regulation is appropriate.

Although the European Commission concluded that EU rules adequately cover licensing and early exploration and production of shale gas, the prospect of expanding exploitation of unconventional fossil fuels suggested that a thorough analysis of EU regulation on these fuels is needed, the parliament said.

In particular member states needed to ensure that the water used in fracking is recycled, and they needed rules obliging companies to disclose which fracking chemicals they use, the parliament said.

Domestic gas production in Europe is set to decline, but demand will continue to grow, pushing up imports, the parliament said. New sources of natural gas – such as shale gas – as well as renewable energies and energy efficiency measures can help achieve security of supply for the EU, it added.

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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