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Energy on the Edge: Unconventional Gas

Unconventional gas

Following the unconventional gas boom of the last couple of years in the United States, the search for similar  resources has turned elsewhere – particularly Europe, where large potential indigenous supply is complemented by pervasive gas security concerns and the need to invest in a cleaner, more climate-friendly hydrocarbons portfolio.  

Unconventional gas resources of particular interest on the European continent are tight gas and shale gas, as well as  coalbed methane.  The potential for all of these in Europe is high, and interest from foreign and domestic gas producers has been demonstrated in countries including Poland, France, the UK, Hungary, and Germany.

Shale Gas and Tight Gas

Shale gas and tight gas - essentially, natural gas which must be liberated by means of mechanical fracturing of the rock (sandstone, limestone or, in the case of shale gas, shale) in which it is trapped   - are associated with formations spread widely across northern and central Europe.  

Although exploratory drilling has occurred in several countries, certain barriers to the replication of America's success remain to be overcome.  These include:

  • work remaining to be done in proving exact resource levels and location;
  • a scaling up of specialised drilling infrastructure and knowledge;
  • overcoming popular and political resistence to the development of the resource

Coalbed Methane

Although European reserves are commensurately smaller than for shale and tight gas, cbm development activity associated with mines (coal mine methane) has taken place over the last decade in central Europe and elsewhere, and there are now plans to develop the resource from unmined seams in certain countries. Energy Edge expertise on coalbed methane  is also discussed here.


Energy Edge has built a consultancy based upon the insight that in the energy field, the intersections of commodities, sectors and interests mark some of the most compelling stories in terms of opportunity mixed with risk.  Our personnel whose expertise and experience focus in particular on the frontiers between coal, gas and carbon markets include Karl Schultz, with expertise in climate mitigation and coalbed methane, and Linus Adler, consultant on unconventional gas development.  

We have a broad portfolio of relevant experience, with  recent projects including: 

  • Working with German coal industry experts, assessed by basin and state potential reserves of shale gas, tight gas, and coal bed methane in Germany as well as current expected investment and development activity. From preliminary resource estimates as well as from existing economics of unconventional gas development, extrapolated levels of economic reserves and price signals needed for development
  • Performing an analysis of emissions reduction potential  within a national industrial and power portfolio  as part  of a white paper produced by a major international gas production company
  • Numerous CBM/CMM-related projects for national        and corporate entities, including:
  • Launching a start-up CMM venture
  • Conducting analysis of worldwide CMM and     unconventional gas opportunities for a major international coal producer
  • Leading corporate, national and mine-related greenhouse gas emissions inventorying, strategy, and training

If you have questions about unconventional gas or the potential for carbon emissions reductions, why not contact Energy Edge today?




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