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24 Jun, 2022 11:30

EU’s top economy urged to consider fracking

Germany should look into increasing its use of the technology to boost domestic gas production, energy giant E.On says
EU’s top economy urged to consider fracking

Germany should consider expanding domestic natural gas output, including through the use of fracking, the chief executive of E.On said on Friday.

“We have to ask ourselves whether we could develop additional deposits (of natural gas) in Germany,” Leonhard Birnbaum told WirtschaftsWoche magazine.

He noted that currently gas production in Germany is “generally impossible in most cases” due to strict environmental controls and the need to obtain legal permits. He called for solutions to be found “without taboos.”

Fracking technology has been used in Germany since the 1960s to extract natural gas from conventional reserves, including sandstone and carbonate stones. About one third of the natural gas produced in the country comes from reserves tapped by fracking.

However, “unconventional fracking” in shale and coal seams, which uses horizontal drilling techniques, has been largely prohibited in Germany due to environmental risks such as water pollution, or even earthquakes.

Currently, most gas consumed in Germany is imported, with only about 5% being extracted domestically. The German government aims to make the country independent of Russian gas by 2024.

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