Unconventional Gas

19:00  Doors open (tea/coffee)
19:30  Start of presentation


The USA have recently overtaken Russia as the largest gas producer in the world, thanks to new technologies to extract unconventional natural gas in the form of tight gas, shale gas, and coalbed methane. The unconventional gas reserves in Europe are estimated to be enormous by both the EC and the IEA: in theory enough to meet European demand for 60 years at pre-crisis levels.  

These large quantities of gas are seen as a great business opportunities by energy companies and potentially offer higher energy security and lower carbon emissions (compared with coal). However, they also come with a number of environmental, social and regulatory drawbacks. 

On the 8th of February, the Dutch Energy Council has come out strongly in favour of the development of unconventional gas in the Netherlands and recommends a number of policies that should stimulate the exploitation of shale gas and coalbed methane in the Netherlands.  

Do we agree?

On the 19th of April, two speakers will enlighten us with their wisdom about the technical aspects and geopolitical implications of these relatively new technologies:

Frank van Bergen (TNO): about technical aspects extracting non convetional gas

Since Frank van Bergen joined TNO in 1998 he has focused on projects related to coalbed methane, CO2 storage and petroleum systems. He was one of the main drivers behind a field demonstration project of CO2 storage in coal in Poland. Currently, he is leading an evaluation project on ECBM (Enhanced Coalbed Methane Recovery) in China. Parallel to this, he has been working on conventional and unconventional petroleum systems, including shale gas evaluations in the Netherlands.

Read more about Frank van Bergen here.


Nora Meray (Clingendael): about geopolitical aspects:

Nora Méray is a senior researcher at the Clingendael International Energy Programme (CIEP) working on studies regarding the international gas market. Before joining CIEP, she has worked for GasTerra on long term strategic studies and at the Amsterdam Medical Center where she worked on statistical models. She has gained her PhD in Physics at the University of Leiden after finishing her studies at the University of Szeged (Hungary) and at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium).

Read more about Nora Meray here.


More info on unconventional gas:

         Documentary: ‘Gasland’ on dailymotion

         NY Times: Drilling Down: Regulation Lax as Gas Wells’ Tainted Water Hits Rivers (see also video link in this article)

         European Energy Review: Europe not ready for unconventional gas, yet