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Large-scale extraction of shale gas in North America and Canada has resulted in considerable changes on the market of natural gas. A real worldwide unconventional gas revolution is a fact! The production of shale gas in the USA has contributed significantly to shifts in perception, prices and investment decisions. It has lead to an increasing awareness of the potential opportunities and risks involved in unconventional gas extraction in Europe. In just a few years time, it has become a global phenomenon. Barack Obama’s visit to Poland in 2011 was the perfect opportunity to present this American ‘success story’ to Europe. With the successful extraction activities in the region of Lublin, in the south-west of Poland, it has become clear that Europe cannot turn its back on possible energy, economic, social and political benefits of this energy revolution. The US experience shows that industry-wide extraction of shale gas may change the game for the better, but it also demonstrates that intensive extraction entails environmental risks, in particular due to the intensive use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. The exploration process of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) in combination with horizontal drilling techniques feeds the environmental controversy, although shale gas is considered as a low emission fuel . The environmental risks underline the urgent need for a legal framework and a roadmap for European shale gas developments. At this very moment there is no common EU policy on shale gas extraction and all risks involved, including environmental risks and security of supply. As the extraction of shale gas in Europe will have huge effects on the prices, as a recent downward spiral of gas prices already showed a regulatory framework seems essential.

The commission included in its 2013 Work Program an ‘Environmental, Climate and Energy Assessment Framework to enable Safe and Secure Unconventional Hydrocarbon Extraction’. This initiative will aim at delivering a framework to manage risks and address regulatory shortcomings.Other studies were also launched by the Commission and as the first results of all the activities will be published and discussed coming April, it is vital for all those involved in the EU’s energy markets to be fully updated on the current state of play.

Claeys & Casteels Publishers is therefore proud to invite you to participate in the upcoming EU Energy Conference on Shale Gas which will take place in Brussels on the 16th and 17th of April 2013. At this event Claeys & Casteels and supporting partner The Kosciuszko Institute will bring together key policy makers and stakeholders such as practitioners, lawyers, regulators, industrial consumers and academics to discuss all the aspects of the current shale gas issues.

At the EU Energy Conference on Shale Gas presentations will focus on policies & strategy; legal framework; environmental aspects and climate change; and risks and security aspects. Furthermore, the conference will focus on a selected number of country cases: Poland, the USA, the UK, France and China.

Click here for the full conference programme.

This two day conference provides a unique opportunity to get fully updated on all major and current shale gas related topics, presented and discussed from a legal, environmental, technical and political point of view. Discussions on the upcoming legal framework and its possible legal bottlenecks, the different approaches of EU member states, shale gas as a game changer in the USA, infrastructure and security of supply and the EU risk management framework as well as the implications of large scale gas extractions for the EU energy market in a 20-20-20 context, presented to you by Europe’ s best known experts, lawyers, academics and politicians.

This conference will coincide with the publication of "Shale Gas in Europe; Opportunities, risks, challenges: a multidisciplinary analysis with a focus on European specificities".

We hope, and indeed will be honored to welcome you in Brussels on this unique Claeys & Casteels EU Energy Conference on Shale Gas.