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UK shale gas might be ready for take-off this year

This year may very well see the unconventionals sector begin to deliver on its rich promise

The conclusions of the European Council meeting on 22 March surprised many by focusing on the need to lower energy prices and boost European competitiveness, emphasising the role of onshore unconventional oil and gas development as part of that cost-effective strategy. This would be achieved through a number of mechanisms including “systematic recourse to onshore and offshore indigenous sources of energy…while respecting Member States’ choices of energy mix”. Council president, Herman van Rompuy, nonetheless downplayed the potential contribution of shale in Europe, stating there was no anticipated European energy “game changer”, comments echoed by Commission president, José Manuel Barroso,

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