Following the huge success of fracking in the US and the shale gas boom that it triggered, many other countries have investigated their shale gas prospects, especially in Europe.
At a recent presentation by the Council of Mining Engineers in Madrid, Fernando Pendas, a water and oil geology professor at the University of Oviedo, stated that a recent study estimates Spain’s shale gas resources to be around 50 trillion cubic feet.
Over the past five years nearly 100 companies have applied for licenses to begin exploration and fracking practices in Spain. Pendas stated that “if we don’t allow fracking, Spain would have missed out on a huge opportunity.”
Related article: Shale Gas: The Courtship Begins in India, Algeria
The council believe that the estimated 50 trillion cubic feet would provide enough natural gas to meet domestic needs for at least 39 years, and there is even the chance for that volume to be increased by as much as 100% once studies are finalised and exploration begins.
Angel Camara, a chemical engineering and fuels professor at Madrid’s Polytechnic University and co-writer of the study, said that the most promising shale deposits exist in the Basque-Cantabrian basin in the north of Spain, near to water sources which will be vital to the fracking operations.
As in most European countries considering fracking, environmentalists have been protesting against its implementation, but Camara explained that the impact on the environment will “entirely depend on good operator practices. If those are fulfilled, there is no reason to fear.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com