EU Legislative Directives
The European Commission’s 2012 Final Report on Unconventional Gas in Europe concluded that shale gas exploration is already covered by a range of European Union (EU) and national legislation and that there are no significant gaps in coverage in the current EU and national energy and environmental legislative frameworks for regulating the exploration of shale gas activities. In 2014 the European Commission’s recommendation on ‘minimum principles for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons (such as shale gas) using high-volume hydraulic fracturing’ re-emphasized that the current EU regulatory regime was sufficient to ensure safe extraction.
The following list of EU legislation demonstrates the comprehensive legal framework in place for exploring Europe’s unconventional gas potential:
Industry Regulation and Best Practices
Much equipment and material used by the natural gas industry, as well as the associated operating practices, are addressed by recommended Practices and Specifications outlined by the International Association of Oil & Gas producers (IOGP).
The natural gas industry has also adopted local, national or regional standards for non-specific equipment such as pressure vessels, lifting equipment, materials, electrical gear, etc. These include the standards developed by organizations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE). Some of these have proved so useful to the industry that they have been adopted for international use along the same lines as IOGP standards.