A study by geologists at the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR) found that developing Germany’s shale oil and gas with hydraulic fracturing would not contaminate drinking water resources.
A Reuters report summarized its findings. Geologists used computer simulations to study what would happen to fracking fluids when injected into the bedrock of the North German Basin.
“We found that the injected fluids did not move upwards into layers carrying drinking water,” said Stefan Ladage, lead author of the BGR study.
The results of the study were published in Germany last week.
Ladage also noted that hydraulic fracturing could improve Germany’s development of natural gas.
“Gas production from domestic resources has been falling for 10 years,” Ladage said. “Using shale gas resources in Germany primarily bears the potential of mitigating part of the ongoing decline.”
The BGR reported that between 0.32 trillion and 2.03 trillion cubic meters of gas could be extracted in depths below 1,000 meters in northern Germany.
One of the world’s largest energy consumers, Germany has to import most of its energy fuel. Imports account for 98 percent of crude oil and 88 percent of natural gas, according to the BGR.
Several major energy companies want to develop Germany’s shale resources, arguing it will reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.