EU launches shale science network

Studying resources: EU creates joint shale science centre

The European Commission is launching a new European Union-wide scientific network to provide research and analysis on the development of European shale gas.

The European Science and Technology Network on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction is due to be unveiled in Brussels later today by the EC’s scientific arm, the Joint Research Centre.

Industry platform Shale Gas Europe said the new centre would help develop science and technology to unlock shale’s potential for European energy needs.

Spokesman Marcus Pepperell said that “the European debate on shale gas needs to move away from rhetorical arguments based on ideology and NIMBYism [Not In My Back Yard]”.

He said the new network would “give policy and decision makers around Europe access to one holistic source of qualitative research and analysis to guide the development of this crucial new energy source within an environmentally-sustainable framework”.

The network is to bring together industry, researchers, academia and civil society to collect, analyse and review shale exploration results as well as assess the development of unconventional technologies.

Its mandate will see it co-operate with the directorates-general of the EC in environment and energy as well as officials in research & innovation, climate action and enterprise & industry.

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