Navigation path

High level navigation

High level navigation

Additional tools

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Print version
  • Decrease text
  • Increase text



Unconventional fossil fuels (e.g. shale gas) in Europe

Policy field(s)


Target group(s)

Contributions are particularly sought from the oil and gas sector, environmental non-governmental organisations, geological surveys, scientists, experts in the management of industrial risks, national and local authorities and citizens at large.

Period of consultation

                        From 20.12.2012  to 23.03.2013

Objective of the consultation

Exploration and production of natural gas and oil within Europe has in the past been mainly focused on conventional resources. Whilst opportunities for this type of domestic extraction are becoming increasingly limited, technological progress is opening up new possibilities to extract unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane, tight oil or shale oil, from geological formations which were previously too complex or too expensive to extract.

The European Commission aims to ensure that developments of unconventional fossil fuels are carried out with proper health, climate and environmental safeguards in place and under maximum legal clarity and predictability for both citizens and operators, as well as to ensure that the potential economic and energy security benefits of such developments can be reaped. Building on analytical work it has conducted since the end of 2011, the Commission has included in its Work Programme for 2013 the development of an "Environmental, Climate and Energy Assessment Framework to Enable Safe and Secure Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction" (

This internet-based consultation is part of the European Commission's efforts to consult with relevant stakeholders and with the public on this topic.

How to submit your contribution

We welcome contributions from citizens, organisations and public authorities.

  • If you are answering this consultation as a citizen, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of an organisation, please click here to submit your contribution.
  • If you are answering this consultation on behalf of a public authority, please click here to submit your contribution.

Received contributions will be published on the Internet. It is important to read the specific privacy statement attached to this consultation for information on how your personal data and contribution will be dealt with.

View the questionnaire

Questionnaire български čeština dansk Deutsch eesti keel ελληνικά English español françaisitaliano latviešu valoda lietuvių kalba magyar Malti Nederlands polski português română slovenčina slovenščina suomi svenska

Reference documents

Before proceeding with your responses, you may wish to see the introductory note to this consultation.

Information about the Commission's work on this topic is available here.

Contact details

responsible service

DG Environment


postal address

European Commission
Environment DG

Unit F1- Public consultation 'Unconventional fossil fuels/Shale gas in Europe'
B - 1049 Brussels

Number of responses received to this consultation

22 875 responses

Results of consultation and next steps

View results (xls file ~13 Mb).

A summary report is available here.

The European Commission assessed the need and possible form of a framework to enable safe and secure unconventional fossil fuels (e.g. shale gas) extraction in Europe. The results of this consultation were fed into this exercise. A Stakeholders' event was organised by the European Commission in June 2013.


The European Commission adopted a Recommendation on minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high volume hydraulic fracturing on 22nd January 2014. Read more...

Protection of personal data

Specific privacy statement