Justin Jacobs, WARSAW: Efforts to counter growing public fears over hydraulic fracturing (fracking) have started to focus on developing a set of global regulatory and operational best practices for shale gas exploration.
The move towards standardisation is a departure from the early days of the shale-gas exploration in the US, where companies operated under a relatively light-touch regulatory environment, formulated for conventional oil and gas exploration and production.
But as the use of fracking has expanded, environmental concerns related to the well-completion technique have grown. That has led many to conclude that the “hands-off” approach to regulation used in the US will not be adequate if the industry, and governments, want public support for expanding shale gas exploration around the world.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) is responding to the growing backlash against...