Period of consultation
From 20.12.2012 to 23.03.2013
Objective of the consultation
Exploration and production of natural gas and oil within Europe has in the past been mainly focused on conventional resources. Whilst opportunities for this type of domestic extraction are becoming increasingly limited, technological progress is opening up new possibilities to extract unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas, tight gas, coal bed methane, tight oil or shale oil, from geological formations which were previously too complex or too expensive to extract.
The European Commission aims to ensure that developments of unconventional fossil fuels are carried out with proper health, climate and environmental safeguards in place and under maximum legal clarity and predictability for both citizens and operators, as well as to ensure that the potential economic and energy security benefits of such developments can be reaped. Building on analytical work it has conducted since the end of 2011, the Commission has included in its Work Programme for 2013 the development of an "Environmental, Climate and Energy Assessment Framework to Enable Safe and Secure Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction" (http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/pdf/cwp2013_annex_en.pdf).
This internet-based consultation is part of the European Commission's efforts to consult with relevant stakeholders and with the public on this topic.