EERA Shale Gas Joint Program

SP4: Energy and Carbon Efficiency and Emissions to

Various studies have yielded a large variation in the estimated impacts of shale gas on the environment. There are concerns that even small leakages of methane and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) during shale gas extraction may at least partly offset the effects of lower carbon dioxide and other emissions from its use in place of coal or oil. There is, however, different published work and opinions and neutral research based facts and evaluations are needed to help decision makers in Europe.

The overall objective of this sub-programme is to align pre-competitive research activities at EERA institutes to give a technical-scientific basis to further knowledge on the potential contribution of shale gas production to greenhouse gas (GHG) and other gaseous emissions. The research in this sub-programme aims to establish such a knowledge basis and independent view on Energy and Carbon Efficiencies during the overall shale gas production chain as well as emissions to air of GHGs and air pollutants . It focuses on quantifying impact, footprint and risks for the European situation. This will be achieved by:

  • conducting pre-competitive research to answer a number of uncertainties regarding the level of emissions.
  • developing methods for calculating life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and harmonization with reference to conventional gas and coal.
  • improve emission estimations from shale gas well sources.
  • development of appropriate emission factors through gas sampling and compositional analysis.

The work is organized into six work packages covering (1)Emissions from Pre-production Stage, (2) Emissions from Production Stage, (3)Ambient emissions around shale gas basins, (4) Assessment of the current GHG and air pollutant emissions reporting framework.

The tasks will be performed, mostly in parallel, over a 3 year time frame (2013 – 2016) comprising an initial assessment of the technology status for the various countries and an identification of topics needing and benefiting from a united European effort. Periodic reports will be elaborated as well as yearly meetings to discuss the achievements.