Where was this actually done and with what result?
The United States are the pioneers. More than three million tails have already been worn there. This has increased gas production by an impressive 80 percent over the past 15 years, while the price has fallen by two-thirds. This year, the United States has become the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas.
Hydraulic fracturing has been forbidden here since 2017, why actually?
Gas companies wanted to frack here ten years ago. There were violent protests against this measure, and the measure was banned in the interest of groundwater and the environment.
Are these concerns still justified?
No, experts like Kumble say: “The hydraulic fracturing technology and its risks are manageable. With German approval requirements, we can pump gas without compromising environmental protection. Several layers of steel pipe and cement seal the drill rope laterally from the water table, Kumble says. The sensors do so. “The chemicals in fracking fluid are no more dangerous than the detergents, and the new mixture is even biocompatible.” If the water is pressurized at depth, seismographs measure the smallest tremors, and if there is any doubt, drilling is stopped.
When can we start fracking?
“This winter will no longer help us,” is the sober declaration from the expert. Test drilling could begin in three to four months. “If we speed up the approval process, as we have done for liquid gas plants, production could begin next winter.” And within four years, large-scale financing will be possible. But one thing is clear: “We need a change in the laws for this.”
How much funding would be realistic then?
The former BGR chief considers about 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year to be possible. By adding 5 billion cubic meters of conventional production, Germany could cover more than a fifth of its annual gas needs itself. Kumble’s conclusion: “Not using shale gas would be completely irresponsible for our country.”