One million jobs could be created if a shale gas industry is developed in Europe, according to a report for the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers.
The report from Poyry Management Consulting and Cambridge Econometrics says that shale gas exploitation could add between 1.7 trillion and 3.8 trillion Euros to the 28 European Union economies during a thirty year period up to 2050. Investment in the EU could increase by 191Bn Euros.
Shale jobs would be created in many areas from exploration and appraisal of shale resources to the development of an onshore rig manufacturing and drilling industry. Tax revenues would rise by 1.2 trillion Euros and consumers would benefit from lower energy prices.
Other jobs would be created as the shale would make industry more competitive and decrease Europe's dependence on energy imports. The report spells out that shale is unlikely to be the 'game changer' that it is expected to be for the United States which is forging ahead with exploitation of its shale resources, but European development would benefit from the lessons learned there.
The study modelled the impact of shale development under three scenarios - one assumed no shale exploitation, one assumed a relatively limited development of the resource which would add 1.7 trillion Euros to economies, and one assuming a shale boom which would add 3.8 trillion Euros.
Shale production could reduce dependence on gas imports to between 62% and 78% of demand, compared to a predicted 89% if there is no shale development. Other industries would benefit from lower energy prices which would make European products more competitive on world markets.
Roland Festor, OGP's EU affairs director, said: “This new study shows that shale gas production could have significant economic benefits.
“While it may not be a game changer as in the United States, shale gas development in Europe could take full advantage of the lessons learned.
“We cannot afford to forego such an opportunity; every cubic metre of gas produced from EU shale resources means one cubic metre less of imported gas.”
(Photo: Patxi Lopez)