The extraction of shale gas – fracking – is several times more polluting than conventional natural gas, writes Greendex, a Hungarian news site focused on environmental and climate issues.
“Shale gas and natural gas are practically the same substance. The difference between them comes from where and how they are located deep in the earth. In simple terms, conventional natural gas, like artesian water, seeps through layers and collects there when it reaches a geological seal. In contrast, shale gas does not accumulate but is trapped in very small, sometimes microscopic, cavities, channels, and capillaries of shale formations, which are also low permeability, deep in the earth,” the article explains.
According to Greendex, European shale gas reserves are estimated to be around 89,000 billion cubic meters, which estimating EU consumption of around 400 billion cubic meters in 2021, could cover EU consumption for more than 200 years. Of this, Hungary has a share of 813 billion cubic meters, which would be sufficient to meet domestic gas demand of close to 10 billion cubic meters per year until the end of the 21st century.
In the US, production could in principle be ramped up in a relatively short time of a few years under optimal conditions, but the situation in Europe is very different from overseas, and for a number of reasons, a similarly rapid and large result cannot be expected here, the portal points out.
European regulation is stricter, with many countries outright banning hydraulic fracking.
It is a huge source of pollution and carries unforeseeable environmental risks. Any LNG is much more damaging to the climate than natural gas, especially if it comes by pipeline, the article concludes.
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