EU Energy Policy on Shale Gas and Other Unconventional Fossil Fuels

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DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-4-29-37

I. Pashkovskaya, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia (MGIMO), 76, Vernadskogo Prosp., Moscow, 119454, Russian Federation (irina-pashkovsky@mail.ru

Abstract. The article presents a study of the EU energy policy regarding the exploration and production of shale gas and other unconventional fossil fuels using high-volume hydraulic fracturing, which the European Commission has developed since 2011. The author gives answers to the following questions: what are the factors making it inevitable for the EU to work out special energy policy in this sphere, and what is the essence of this policy; what the European Commission considers to be positive results of the EU energy development; what is the energy-related sore point of the EU economy? The European Commission activity for constructing the basis of the EU energy policy in the above-mentioned sphere was provoked and stimulated by the shale gas revolution – spectacular success of the USA and a number of countries, which followed them, in enhancing their national energy security due to the implementation of advanced technologies in shale gas exploration and extraction. In 2012–2013, the European Commission hold an online public consultation “Unconventional Fossil Fuels (e.g. Shale Gas) in Europe” which addressed relevant stakeholders representing oil and gas industry, national and local authorities, environmentalists, geologists, scientists, experts in industrial risks, and was aimed at taking account of their concerns and views on the shale gas production in the EU Member States in its upcoming work. According to the consultation results, a large majority of all respondents share the view that «the EU should take some action: "doing nothing" was the least favored option, ... and… there are important information needs associated with unconventional fossil fuels exploration and extraction, and… potential challenges should be addressed with appropriate measures». In 2014, the European Commission, stimulated by the support of public at large, activated its efforts and presented initiatives laying down the foundations of the EU energy policy in the sphere of shale gas and other unconventional fossil fuels exploration and production in the EU Member States. 

Keywords: energy policy, unconventional fossil fuels, shale gas, high-volume hydraulic fracturing, European Union, EU Member States, European Commission, Brazil, India, Canada, China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, USA, Japan, International Energy Agency 


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For citation:
Pashkovskaya I. EU Energy Policy on Shale Gas and Other Unconventional Fossil Fuels. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 4, pp. 29-37. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-4-29-37



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