Opinions and Resources

Interview with Prof. Brian Horsfield, April 2013

Report from the European Gas Policy Forum on shale gas, October 2012

Read about the Importance of independent science in the shale gas debate.

Shale Gas in Europe sets the scene for the role of academia in shale gas development.

Assessing shale gas potential takes a wider perspective on economical, strategic and environmental issues.


A collection of web links is provided below. The choice is by no means comprehensive but it documents different viewpoints on the controversial issues related to shale gas development.


Greenpeace U.S.
Responsible Drilling Alliance
Pro Publica


ExxonMobil International
Cuadrilla Resources
Shale Gas Europe
Energy in Depth
Barnett Shale Energy Education Council
Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources


Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research (MCOR)
Penn State University, College of Agricultural Sciences
US Environmental Protection Agency
British Geological Survey


The Shale Gas Arguments Map provides a clear overview of arguments for and against, leaving the weighing and the final decision of the arguments to the users of the map. With the map they can form a balanced opinion.

The Debate

Shares of energy sources in world primary energy demandFig. 1: Shares of energy sources in world primary energy demand in the International Energy Agency´s (IEA) New Policies Scenario (IEA, World Energy Outlook, 2011)

Replacing fossil energy resources with renewable energies is not only the goal of nations worldwide but also of the European Union. But a quick switch to mainly renewable-based energy production (Greenpeace, 2012; WWF, 2011) is difficult to accomplish: major energy projections conclude that a diverse energy mix including fossil fuels will remain in force for the foreseeable future (IEA, World Energy Outlook, 2014; U.S. EIA International Energy Outlook, 2014; IEA Special Report, 2012).

Due to its low carbon footprint compared with other fossil fuels, and its flexible availability, natural gas is widely regarded as the most important bridge to future renewable energy. Natural gas ressources from shales seem to be huge, but the extraction process, including hydraulic fracturing, has caused a debate whether production may be ecologically acceptable or not. Read more about the potential benefits and risks related to shale gas.

National developments and positions

Shale gas – an EU analysis, June 2012 (updated December 2013), by Elizabeth Shepherd, Eversheds LLP

Polish shale gas exploration: the way forward, July 2015, by Andrzej Rudnicki, Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute PGI

Shale gas in Poland, May 2013, by Mirosław Rutkowski, Polish Geological Institute – National Research Institute PGI

Gaining public trust: monitoring shale gas, January 2014, by Mike Stephenson, British Geological Survey

Shale gas activities in Britain, January 2014, by Mike Stephenson, British Geological Survey

Developments in British shale gas, January 2013, by Mike Stephenson, British Geological Survey

Shale gas in Britain – the pros and cons, March 2012, by Mike Stephenson, British Geological Survey

Shale gas in the Netherlands, May 2012, (updated July 2015) by Yvonne Schavemaker, Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research TNO

Shale gas in Germany – the current status, October 2012 (updated October 2013 and 10th December 2014), by Alexandra Vetter, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences

The public debate in France, December 2014, by Helen Etchanchu, ESSEC Business School in Cergy, France

Statements and Positions

Statement of the German Alliance of Public Water Management (AöW) e.V., September 2013, by Christa Hecht, President of the AöW

Public perception, from a scientific perspective

Shale gas and responsible innovation, May 2014, by Marloes Dignum and Aad Correljé, Delft University of Technology, Department of Values, Technology and Innovation

Insights from 'Frack Off' to 'Frackademia' - Public Perceptions of Shale Gas in the German Context, May 2014, by Claudia Brändle, Julia Hahn, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany; and Ida Rust, Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research

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The Debate

The Debate