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EU Eyes Fracking for Energy Security

The dependence of many European Union members on Russian gas has been the topic of discussion for several weeks now, and a G7 meeting this week had EU member countries looking at a variety of measures to break that dependence. But another option for the EU is to tap Europe’s shale gas, a move that is gaining a bit of support from a few EU leaders, and a measure that was being aggressively pushed by British Prime Minister David Cameron at the meeting. He is working hard to raise public support for exploiting shale gas in the U.K. He stated at a nuclear security summit this week in The Hague that fracking will be “good for our country.”

Related Article: DOE Approves West Coast LNG Terminal

Cameron also argued that improving European energy independence was “our duty,” and it should be a “tier one” issue for policymakers. With shale gas as a cornerstone of his energy plan, he argues that after more wells enter into operation, public fears will dissipate. “I think it takes time because of people's uncertainties and worries and concerns. We just have to address those. I think one of the best ways of addressing that is to get some shale gas wells up and running so people can go and see them and you can hear more directly from local people about what it has meant for their communities,” he said. “But it's an interesting question. Why has it taken so long in the UK and Europe, compared with the US? We can ponder that, or alternatively we can just do what this government is doing, which is to roll up the sleeves, simplify the process, make the permissions easier, getting on with getting some wells moving.”

He has a few like-minded leaders in Europe, most notably in Poland. Meanwhile, EU leaders also pressed Barack Obama to allow more U.S. LNG exports during his trip there.

By James Burgess of Oilprice.com


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