EU Science Hub

Unconventional Gas in Europe: Potential Energy Market Impacts

In the interest of effective policymaking, this report seeks to clarify certain controversies and identify key gaps in the evidence-base relating to unconventional gas. The scope of this report is restricted to the economic impact of unconventional gas on energy markets. As such, it principally addresses such issues as the energy mix, energy prices, supplies, consumption, and trade flows. Whilst this study touches on coal bed methane and tight gas, its predominant focus is on shale gas, which the evidence at this time suggests will be the form of unconventional gas with the most growth potential in the short- to medium-term. This report considers the prospects for the indigenous production of shale gas within the EU-27 Member States. It evaluates the available evidence on resource size, extractive technology, resource access and market access. This report also considers the implications for the EU of large-scale unconventional gas production in other parts of the world. This acknowledges the fact that many changes in the dynamics of energy supply can only be understood in the broader global context. It also acknowledges that the EU is a major importer of energy, and that it is therefore heavily affected by developments in global energy markets that are largely out of its control.