The No Hot Air Library has over two dozen reports on shale gas. While the majority of them support the development of natural gas, they also highlight various issues that have been raised. Shale gas is new to most people, but it has been extensively studied over the past few years in North America and worldwide.
NHA is happy to include public domain sources from all sides of the issue. I haven't included many anti shale reports, although we do have the Tyndall Centre and the original Cornell Howarth report for example. We don't include more because quite simply we haven't been able to find many. Please don't hesitate to suggest any I've missed.
The most complete report is the New York State report from 2011, well over 1,000 pages. I would recommend this report as a reality check on any other report, for or against.
I would caution that shale is constantly evolving and most objections from 2008 through 2010 have been resolved through a combination of technology and legislation, so always try and use the most recent research.
We don''t have the Deutsche Bank report on European shale resources cited by Caroline Lucas on Newsnight of March 20, The Guardian last year and the Friends of the Earth in an April 2012 newspaper advertisement as it is not in the public domain and DB have not allowed us to breach copyright. We're not trying to hide it. It's called European Gas: A First Look at EU Shale Gas Prospects if you want to search for it elsewhere.  There are many similar reports from investment banks that either agree, or not, with the report but financial analysis reports are both rarely in the public domain and tend to be more opinion than pure fact.


International Energy Agency May 2012: Golden Rules for the Golden Age of GasGolden Age of Gas


Natural gas is poised to enter a golden age, but this future hinges critically on the successful development of the world’s vast unconventional gas resources. North American experience shows unconventional gas – notably shale gas –can be exploited economically. Many countries are lining up to emulate this success. But some governments are hesitant, or even actively opposed. They are responding to public concerns that production might involve unacceptable environmental and social damage. This report, in the World Energy Outlook series, treats these aspirations and anxieties with equal seriousness. It features two new cases: a Golden Rules Case, in which the highest practicable standards are adopted, gaining industry a “social licence to operate”; and its counterpart, in which the tide turns against unconventional gas as constraints prove too difficult to overcome.
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Assessing the Greenhouse Impact of Natural gas Cornell University June 2011assess


Natural gas as an energy source is a smart move in the battle against global climate change and a good transition step on the road toward low-carbon energy from wind, solar and nuclear power. That is the conclusion of a new study by Lawrence M. Cathles, Cornell professor of earth and atmospheric sciences, published in the most recent edition of the peer-reviewed journal Geochemistry, Geophysics and Geosystems. Cathles reviewed the most recent government and industry data on natural gas "leakage rates" during extraction, as well as recently developed climate models. He concluded that regardless of the time frame considered, substituting natural gas energy for all coal and some oil production provides about 40 percent of the global warming benefit that a complete switch to low-carbon sources would deliver. "From a greenhouse point of view, it would be better to replace coal electrical facilities with nuclear plants, wind farms and solar panels, but replacing them with natural gas stations will be faster, cheaper and achieve 40 percent of the low-carbon-fast benefit," Cathles wrote in the study. "Gas is a natural transition fuel that could represent the biggest stabilization wedge available to us." of America, which already is under way; and a sharp contraction in the U.S. current-account deficit that would significantly strengthen the dollar. And, perhaps most profoundly, the reduced dependence on Middle Eastern oil would have huge geopolitical implications.
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Energy 2020 North America the new Middle East Citi April 2012Energy 2020 July 2012


The notion of U.S. energy independence has been around since the first oil embargo of the early 1970s. Four decades later, the pipe dream actually is becoming a reality. The U.S. became a net exporter of petroleum products last year for the first time since 1949. And, according to a provocative new report from Citigroup, North American supplies of oil, natural gas and biofuels could double from 2010 levels by 2020-22. The result is summed up by the title of Citi's report: "North America, the New Middle East?" But the profound impact extends beyond energy, say the authors, led by Edward L. Morse, head of global commodities research at Citigroup Global Markets. They project a sharp boost to U.S. economic growth as the result of the boom in energy output; a further spur to the re-industrialization
of America, which already is under way; and a sharp contraction in the U.S. current-account deficit that would significantly strengthen the dollar. And, perhaps most profoundly, the reduced dependence on Middle Eastern oil would have huge geopolitical implications.
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A study by the University of Nottingham on UK public awareness and acceptance of shale gas. June 2012


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Shale Gas Extraction Report June 2012

The Royal Society June 2012

The UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington FRS, asked the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering to review the scientific and engineering evidence and consider whether the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing (often termed ‘fracking’) as a means to extract shale gas could be managed effectively in the UK.
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Royal Society Shale Gas Report June 2012

Balcombe Parish Council May 2012

There is a layer of rock some 790 metres (2,600 feet) below Balcombe that contains oil. It is thought to be most unlikely that it contains a significant quantity of gas. Cuadrilla Resources Ltd has a licence to explore for oil in the Balcombe area. Two years ago it applied for, and was granted, planning permission to create a new exploratory oil well at Lower Stumble, Balcombe, where exploration previously took place in 1986. The site is on the east of the road from Balcombe to Cuckfield, about half a mile south of Balcombe station. The location is identified on the map on the front cover of this report. The purpose of this report is to provide Balcombe residents with factual information about the key risks, possible impacts and benefits of the proposed exploration for oil at the Lower Stumble site.
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Balcolmbe Parish Council Report

Energy Market Review, April 2012

One of the largest players on the Lloyd's of London Insurance market, Willis is the one liable to pay out for any damages caused by fracking. In their Energy Market Report of April 2012, All Fracked Up? Just How Concerned Should Energy Insurers be about Hydraulic Fracturing?, Wilis study the various controversies of fracking and find them unlikely - and certainly insurable.
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Energy Market Review, April 2012

The Policy Exchange: Gas Works February 2012

Gas Works? Shale gas and its policy implications says that the government is “unnecessarily gambling with billpayers' money”. It says that the UK’s energy generation plans are based on forecasting future gas prices which is a flawed strategy, potentially resulting in the UK missing out on the potential economic and environmental benefits of shale gas.
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Policy Exchange Gas Works Report


The Impact of Unconventional Gas on Europe: A report for Ofgem June 2011, released February 2012

As part of the wider gas security of supply work that Ofgem undertakes, we commissioned an independent report by Pöyry Management Consultants which we are now publishing. It investigates the possible impact of shale gas and other types of unconventional gas on Europe, examining the prospects for their development, both in Europe and elsewhere, and the implications for GB and wider European gas markets.
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Ofgem Report

Fact Based Regulation for Environmental Protection in Shale Gas Development

For this study, the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin assembled a team of experts with broad experience and expertise, from geology and environmental law to public affairs and communications. In addition to university faculty, the Environmental Defense Fund was actively involved in developing the scope of work and methodology for this study, and reviewed final work products
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Energy Institute Report

Bi Partisan Policy Institute Shale Gas New Opportunities, New Challenges January 2012

Reaping the full economic and environmental benefits of an expanded U.S. gas resource base requires building public confidence that shale gas resources will be developed in a safe and environmentally sound manner. This paper identifies emerging issues and opportunities for capturing the economic benefits associated with this new and significant domestic energy resource.
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BiPartisan Center

National Wildlife Foundation (USA) November 2011 : No More Drilling in the Dark

This report provides an overview of unconventional gas drilling and the key concerns and potential threats that such drilling raises for America’s land, water, air and wildlife. It also provides a number of recommendations for addressing and reducing related environmental impacts.
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IHF Report

IHS Cera December 2012: The Economic and Employment Contributions of Shale Gas in the United States

This study examines the recent increases in shale gas production, the continued trend of growth ex- pected for shale gas production into the future, and the economic benefits of this growth, including the employment contributions.
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IHF Report

Natural Gas and Renewables: The Coal to Gas and Renewables Switch is on! August 2011

Deutsche Bank - In late 2010, DBCCA published an analysis concluding that (1) natural gas and renewable energy can play complementary roles in displacing coal-fired generation and lowering greenhouse gases (GHGs) emissions from the US electricity sector through 2030; and (2) at present a gas and renewables combination represents the most logical, politically acceptable, and economically feasible low-carbon energy pathway for the United States. On the supply side, the shale gas revolution remains front and center of this energy transition and continues to gather momentum.
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Deutsche Bank Report

Marcellus Drinking Water:  The Centre for Rural Pennsylvania September  2011

This research looked to provide an unbiased and largescale study of water quality in private water wells in rural Pennsylvania before and after the drilling of nearby Marcellus Shale gas wells. It also looked to document both the enforcement of existing regulations and the use of voluntary
measures by homeowners to protect water supplies.

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Rural Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University August 2011

This study estimates the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the production of Marcellus shale natural gas and compares its emissions with national average US natural gas emissions produced in the year 2008, prior to any significant Marcellus shale development.

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Carnegie Mellon


The Future of Natural Gas June 2011

Massachusetts Institute of Technology  Energy Initiative - The Future of Natural Gas is the fourth in a series of MIT multidisciplinary reports examining the role of various energy sources that may be important for meeting future demand under carbon dioxide emissions constraints. In each case, we explore the steps needed to enable competitiveness in a future marketplace conditioned by a CO2 emissions price. Often overlooked in past debates about the future of energy in the U.S., natural gas is finding its place at the heart of the energy discussion. Natural gas is a major fuel for multiple end uses — electricity, industry, heating — and is increasingly discussed as a potential pathway to reduced oil dependence for transportation. In addition, the realization over the last few years that the producible unconventional gas resource in the U.S. is very large has intensified the discussion about natural gas as a "bridge" to a low-carbon future.

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MIT Study

International Energy Agency: Are We Entering a Golden Age of Gas? June 2011

The factors that drive natural gas demand and supply increasingly point to a future in which natural gas plays a greater role in the global energy mix.The global natural gas resource base is vast and widely dispersed geographically. The Golden Age of Gas Scenario  incorporates a combination of new assumptions that underpin a more positive future outlook for gas.

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Golden Age of Gas

UK Parliament Energy and Climate Change Committee: Shale Gas.  May 2011

The environmental and climate risks posed by shale gas need to be balanced with its potential contribution to energy security. On balance, we feel that there should not be a moratorium on the use of hydraulic fracturing in the exploitation of the UK's hydrocarbon resources, including unconventional resources such as shale gas.

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UK Parliament


Study on Unconventional Gas – EUCERS Strategy Paper No 1    May 2011

STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES OF UNCONVENTIONAL GAS: A GAME CHANGER WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR THE EU’S ENERGY SECURITY” by Maximilian Kuhn and Frank Umbach, addresses the potential, various obstacles and challenges for European unconventional gas. By taking into account  important questions about the future market structure, the regulatory environment, political risk, investor confidence, geopolitical consequences, public acceptance and competition with other fuels – especially renewables -, which need to be answered in the months and years ahead.
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The Shale Gas Shock, May 2011


A surge in gas production and use may prove to be both the cheapest and most effective way to hasten the decarbonisation of the world economy, given the cost and land requirements of most renewables.

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Duke University Research and Policy Recommendations for Hydraulic Fracturing and Shale‐Gas Extraction July 2011

A study by Duke University researchers has found high levels of leaked methane in well water collected near shale-gas drilling and hydrofracking sites.  The scientists collected and analyzed water samples from 68 private groundwater wells across five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and New York.
They found no evidence of contamination from chemical-laden fracking fluids, which are injected into gas wells to help break up shale deposits, or from “produced water,” wastewater that is extracted back out of the wells after the shale has been fractured.
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Center on Global change

Cornelll University: Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations

We evaluate the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas obtained by high- volume hydraulic fracturing from shale formations, focusing on methane emissions. Natural gas is composed largely of methane, and 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the life- time of a well. These methane emissions are at least 30% more than and perhaps more than twice as great as those from conventional gas.

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Methane footprint


La sécurité des approvisionnements stratégiques de la France Mars 2011


Le livre blanc sur la défense et la sécurité nationale, publié au mois de juin 2008, évoque la « croissance économique des nouvelles puissances [qui] va de pair avec celle de la consommation d'énergie, ainsi qu'un besoin accru en ressources naturelles et en matières premières stratégiques.

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Tyndall Centre, February 2011

Shale gas: a provisional assessment of climate change and environmental impacts


The analysis within the report addresses two specific issues associated with the extraction and combustion of shale gas. Firstly, it outlines potential UK and global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from a range of scenarios building on current predictions of shale gas resources. Secondly, it explores the health and environmental risks associated with shale gas extraction. It should be stressed that a key issue in assessing these issues has been a paucity of reliable data.

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Oxord Centre for Energy Studies December 2010

Can Unconventional Gas be a Game Changer in European Gas Markets?

Although unconventional gas development will not be a game changer for European gas markets overall it could have a significant impact in individual countries although probably not this decade. Florence Gény’s study argues that much more stringent European environmental standards difficulties of access to land and fresh water and lack of incentives for landowners to allow companies to drill will require a completely different business model for unconventional gas development in Europe compared to what has been seen in the US. Although the impact could be greater in Poland and Germany overall it would be surprising if unconventional gas provided more than 5% of European gas demand before the early 2020s.

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Oxford Institute

Energieraad: February 2011 'Minder zorgen om voorzieningszekerheid aardgas

In nauwelijks vijf jaar is het aanbod van aardgas in de wereld structureel veranderd door de commerciële ontginning van onconventionele aardgasreserves in de Verenigde Staten. Er is momenteel geen sprake meer van een verkopersmarkt. En mits er voldoende wordt geïnvesteerd in de productie van onconventioneel aardgas, naast de investeringen in conventioneel gas en LNG, zal een nieuw omslagpunt (naar een verkopersmarkt) vele jaren op zich laten wachten.

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Chatham House  September 2010 The 'Shale Gas Revolution': Hype and Reality

The 'shale gas revolution' - responsible for a huge increase in unconventional gas production in the US over the last couple of years - is creating huge investor uncertainties for international gas markets and renewables and could result in serious gas shortages in 10 years time.This report casts serious doubt over industry confidence in the 'revolution', questioning whether it can spread beyond the US, or indeed be maintained within it, as environmental concerns, high depletion rates and the fear that US circumstances may be impossible to replicate elsewhere, come to the fore.

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Hype amd reality


Global Shale Gas, What Now, What Next November 2010


This is a report I wrote on shale gas published in November 2010.  I include it here as an introduction to the subject, and to highlight how the most beautiful words in the English language are not " I love you" but "I told you so".  Hope you like it.

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No Hot Air

 US Energy Information Administration: World Shale Gas Resources outside the United States April 2011

 One of the best introductions for those who have never heard about shale gas comes from the US Energy Information Administration.  Includes  history and technology of shale gas in North America and resources worldwide.

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement September 2011

Don't know enough about shale gas? For those who want to know absolutely everything about shale gas and it's environmental impact, this 1000+ study for the New York State regulator has it all.
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Is natural gas a climate change solution for Canada? 

David Suzuki Foundation/ Pembina Institute July 2011 - Does a “bridging” role for natural gas stand up to scrutiny? For instance, might im- provements in energy efficiency avoid the need to use more natural gas, even if there is a delay in moving to large-scale non-fossil energy? Could investing in long-lived natural gas infrastructure leave us “locked in” to that energy source, creating a barrier to moving to deeper GHG reductions? Or would power producers willingly accept the retirement of gas-fired plants after a couple of decades? Is the urgency of cutting GHG emissions such that we should move very quickly to end the burning of all fossil fuels? Or might continued combustion of natural gas with carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) remain viable?

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World Economic Forum February 2011  A New Era for Gas

What a difference a few years can make in one of the world’s major energy markets. Advances in the production of unconventional gas – shale gas, tight gas and coalbed methane (cBm) – coupled with growing lNG capacity have changed longstanding assumptions about natural gas markets around the world. Gas has long been recognized as the preferred fossil fuel from an environmental standpoint, with lower emissions of GHG and other pollutants than coal or oil. recent advances in gas production technology mean that gas is also likely to be more available, and even potentially less expensive, than was assumed just a few years ago.

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Making the Green Journey Work: European Gas Advocacy Forum April 2011

Europe can reach its 2050 80% greenhouse gas reduction target at lower cost, with less risk, and with less challenging implementation than has been suggested by other recent studies such as that of the European Climate Foundation’s Roadmap 2050.I The solution lies in defining the most economically attractive technology mix to meet the targets in the first twenty years, including the 20/20/20 targets, while avoiding any restriction of the available options or any increase in costs for the continued abatement in the second period to 2050

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Institute of Gas Engineers and Managers September 2011 - Shale Gas: A UK Energy Miracle?

The phenomenon of shale gas is both topical and controversial. Its proponents claim that it is a clean, environmentally friendly and abundant source of cheap natural gas; its opponents believe the opposite. In various countries it is a fast growing industry and operations have begun in the UK.

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Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement du Québec   Mars 2011 - Développement durable de l’industrie des gaz de schiste au Québec

L’analyse et les constatations de la commission d’enquête reposent sur les faits recueillis à partir du témoignage de citoyens, de groupes et de municipalités, de documents scientifiques et gouvernementaux, d’avis d’experts ainsi que sur l’expérience des personnes responsables d’appliquer la réglementation au Québec, en Alberta, en Colombie-Britannique ainsi que dans certains États américains.
Certaines législations en vigueur au Canada et aux États-Unis ont été examinées. La commission d’enquête a également observé, lors de missions, l’application sur le terrain des cadres réglementaires dans les États du Texas, de la Pennsylvanie et de New York.


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Harvard Kennedy School:  Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs  October 2010 -Water Consumption of Energy Resource Extraction, Processing, and Conversion

 This paper provides an overview of water consumption for different sources of energy, including extraction, processing and conversion of resources, fuels, and technologies. The primary focus of is consumptive use of water for different sources of energy. Where appropriate, levels of water withdrawals are also discussed, especially in the context of cooling of thermoelectric power plants.

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energy{jacomment off}

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