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Energy and environment

Environmental Aspects on Unconventional Fossil Fuels

Related News

  • August 2014: The Commission published three open calls related to hydrocarbon exploration and production, including unconventional fossil fuels. More information...
  • 8 July 2014: A European Science and Technology Network on unconventional hydrocarbon extraction was launched. Practitioners from industry, research, academia and civil society are welcome to express their interest in participating in this network. More information...
  • 22 January 2014: the European Commission has adopted a Recommendation to Member States aiming to ensure that proper environmental and climate safeguards are in place for the high-volume hydraulic fracturing technique used in shale gas operations. The Recommendation is accompanied by a Communication that considers the opportunities and challenges of using high-volume hydraulic fracturing to extract hydrocarbons. Both documents are part of an integrated climate and energy policy framework proposal of the Commission for the period up to 2030. Read more...
  • October 2013:  The analysis of the results of the public consultation "Unconventional fossil fuels (e.g. shale gas) in Europe" is available.
  • 7 June 2013: The Commission presented the results of the online consultation on unconventional fossil fuels (e.g. shale gas), which generated more than 22 000 responses. Read more...
  • April 2013: A stakeholders' conference will be organised on 7th June 2013 in Brussels. Stakeholders are invited to express their interest in attending by 10 May. Read more...
  • 23rd March 2013: The on-line consultation entitled "Unconventional fossil fuels (e.g shale gas) in Europe" is now closed. Considering the large number of responses that need to be analysed, the results of the consultation will be made available on this website by the end of June.
  • 20 December 2012: An on-line public consultation entitled Unconventional fossil fuels (e.g. shale gas) in Europe has been launched as part of a broader process designed to involve civil society in the Commission's on-going work. The consultation covers issues such as broad opportunities and challenges, measures to reduce health and environmental risks, measures to increase the transparency of operations, as well as general recommendations regarding action at EU-level.
  • 21 November 2012: Statement by Commissioner Potocnik after the adoption of a resolution on the environmental impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction activities in plenary session of the European Parliament
  • May 2012: The Commission has launched two open calls on unconventional fossil fuels / shale gas that will provide further socio-economic and legal support to the Commission. These have been published on TED, the Commission's eTendering Platform.

    1. Technical support for assessing the need for a risk management framework for unconventional gas extraction

    The objective of this service contract is to provide support, especially socio-economic and legal, for the preparation and the development of possible Commission initiatives on managing potential impacts and risks of unconventional gas extraction in Europe. To this end, the tenderer shall (i) identify and assess relevant measures for regulating the risks from unconventional gas developments, (ii) prepare extended support for an impact assessment on the need and possible options for an EU risk management framework for unconventional gas as well as (iii) in collaboration with the Commission and where a risk management framework is deemed necessary, provide support for developing possible measures and elements of that framework.

    and

    2. Regulatory provisions governing key aspects of unconventional gas extraction in selected EU Member States

    The objective of this service contract is to identify and assess environment- and health-related regulatory provisions applicable to unconventional gas in 8 selected EU Member States: Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and United Kingdom. These countries were selected as illustrative cases based on their geographical, cultural and legal diversity and their possible interest in extracting unconventional gas and in particular shale gas resources.In doing so, the purpose of this service contract is twofold:— to help the European Commission illustrate the elements covered under these national legal provisions and to which extent and in which way the coverage is similar or varies across these 8 Member States, and— to help the European Commission identify potential best regulatory practices or limitations in environment- and health-related regulatory provisions applicable to unconventional gas in these 8 Member States.

  • December 2011: the European Commission services have conducted a legal assessment of the EU environmental legislative framework applying to shale gas practices
  • December 2011: the European Commission services have produced a guidance  on the application of the EIA Directive (2011/92/EU) to projects related to the exploration and exploitation of unconventional hydrocarbons