Interview  |  16 January 2012

Geology Professor Jan de Jager (ex-Shell) puts West European shale gas prospects in perspective

"Unconventionals are easy to find but hard to get"

By Annemieke van Roekel

Don't expect a US-style boom in shale gas production in Western Europe. It's still not proven that economically viable reserves of shale gas even exist over here. Compared with North America, the regions in Europe characterized by the necessary geological conditions for shale gas are scarce. This is the opinion of Jan de Jager, newly appointed professor in Regional and Petroleum Geology at the University of Utrecht, who before his appointment worked as exploration geologist for Shell for over 30 years. In an interview with science journalist Annemieke van Roekel, De Jager notes that unconventional gas tends to be 'easy to find, but hard to produce' - certainly in North Western Europe.

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