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Impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction on the environment and on human health

This study discusses the possible impacts of hydraulic fracturing on the environment and on human health. Quantitative data and qualitative impacts are taken from US experience since shale gas extraction in Europe still is in its infancy, while the USA have more than 40 years of experience already having drilled more than 50,000 wells. Greenhouse gas emissions are also assessed based on a critical review of existing literature and own calculations. European legislation is reviewed with respect to hydraulic fracturing activities and recommendations for further work are given. The potential gas resources and future availability of shale gas is discussed in face of the present conventional gas supply and its probable future development.

Bibliography:
Stefan Lechtenböhmer¹, Matthias Altmann², Sofia Capito², Zsolt Matra²,Werner WEINDRORF², Werner ZITTEL²
Impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction on the environment and on human health
European Parliament, Jul 8, 2011
¹ Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy
² Ludwig-Bölkow-Systemtechnik GmbH

This document was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

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