Shale gas extraction will bring about no significant reduction in Europe’s dependence on gas imports, said the European Energy Commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, in an interview with the B.Z. am Sonntag newspaper. In the long-term future, Europe will be able to cover around one-tenth of its overall gas demand using the so-called fracking technology, Oettinger said.
The only thing that can be achieved, considering that output from traditional gas deposits in Europe will inevitably fall, is that Europe’s dependence on gas imports will at least not increase, he added.
At the same time, Oettinger believes that Germany should not give up fracking entirely.
Most Germans are widely skeptical of fracking.
Earlier, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Environmental Protection Minister Barbara Hendricks prepared tough fracking regulations.
The proposed measures ban hydraulic fracking for oil or gas at depths above 3,000 m. Fracking will only be permitted where subsoil waters are not in danger.