September 20, 2012
This is a European Commission diagram detailing the shale gas extraction process. (See today’s EurActiv.com article on shale gas, here)
Shale gas is an ‘unconventional’ fossil fuel that is found within natural fissures and fractures underground. Until recently, no method of safely transporting it to the surface existed.
It is mined via hydraulic fracturing, or ‘fracking’, the process of breaking apart layers of shale by pumping liquids and a number of chemical additives under high pressure thereby releasing trapped gas reserves.
While energy companies believe they have found a part of the answer to Europe’s energy security problems, the method remains intensely controversial because of its possible environmental risks, including poisoning groundwater and potentially higher greenhouse gas emissions than traditional gas.
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Author : euinfographics