Rationale and Objectives
The Commission Communication on the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high volume hydraulic fracturing in the EU, issued on 22th January 2014, concluded that "in order to continue increasing the knowledge on unconventional hydrocarbon extraction technologies and practices as well as to further reduce potential health and environmental impacts and risks, the Commission will establish a European Science and Technology Network on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) has received a mandate to establish and manage this network in close cooperation with DG Environment and DG Energy and involving also DG Research & Innovation, DG Climate Action and DG Enterprise and Industry.
The Network aims at "…bringing together practitioners from industry, research, academia as well as civil society. The Network will collect, analyse and review results from exploration projects as well as assess the development of technologies used in unconventional gas and oil projects".