The new gas resources are increasingly mobilised to meet demands while the opportunities for exploitation for the conventional natural gas resources are becoming Limited. Shale gas is one such important source.
Reasons for the exploitation of unconventional natural gas resources in Europe
Europe has mainly focused on exploring and producing natural gas and oil within Europe in the past few years, which the conventional boreholes can exploit. These are the resources that are getting more and more Limited while the new resources are being developed to meet the demand in Europe. The European countries are now exploring unconventional natural resources like Shale gas and coalbed methane.
The Rock layers need to be altered to exploit these resources before the gas or oil can flow. Hydraulic fracturing is one of the techniques used to change the rocks where the injecting of pressurised liquid in the rocks takes place to create fissures and release oil and gas. Large-scale industries in Europe have not yet used this technique, but many European countries have started to show interest in developing Shale gas extraction. The European Commission has requested the environmental risks and the assessment of the health associated with large scale use of this technique of hydraulic fracturing.
The risk that is identified
The hydraulic fracturing operations can process some of the potential environmental and health risks like:
- The effective use of more volumes of Chemicals and water can lower the yield of unconventional gas wells than conventional gas extraction.
- The greener alternatives can be a challenge, and there can be e potential toxicity of chemical additives.
- Ensuring that the water waste which has potential environmental consequences and the spillage of chemicals are avoided.
- Ensuring the correct selection of the geological site.
- In the presence of hydraulic fracturing fluid under the ground, the uncertainty can be associated with long-term.
- Ensuring that the integrity of specific equipment throughout such as wells and the after a lifetime of plants.
- The potential over a broader area development than a conventional gas field.
- During the well construction, and use of plants and equipment will be impacted by the admission to the atmosphere and noise.
Avoiding these risks,
Some measures can be taken to prevent these risks, such as
- The development of fracturing fluids and drilling are less environmentally hazardous.
- searchable European database of hydraulic fracturing fluid composition can be developed
- . The causes of Methane migration from Shale gas extraction to underground water should be researched and draught conclusion towards non-environmental hazards.
- To increase well integrity, there should be development in casing it and cementing methods.
The legislation of Europe also needs to adjust to address the risks and uncertainty is sufficient to the Associates with high volume hydraulic fracturing products.