An EU shale gas revolution could create more than a million jobs according to a new report commissioned by the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (OGP).
Developing shale gas could also lower prices – making industry more competitive – and decrease the reliance on imported gas, according to the study by Poyry Management Consulting and Cambridge Econometrics.
The report examined three different scenarios, comparing a ‘no shale’ future to one with ‘some shale’ and a ‘shale boom’. It predicted shale gas production could add between €1.7 trillion (£1.42tn) and €3.8 trillion (£3.18tn) to the EU’s economy between 2020 and 2050, increasing tax revenues by as much as €1.2 trillion (£1tn).
The report said a new shale gas sector could also create 400,000 to 800,000 jobs by 2035 and 600,000 to 1.1 million by 2050. OGP said many of these jobs would be in the industries worst affected by the Eurozone crisis.
The EU is expected to rely on imports for 89% of gas demand in 2035 according to the ‘no shale’ scenario. The report claimed this could be reduced to between 62% and 72% if domestic shale gas production went ahead.
Wholesale gas prices could be also trimmed by 6-14% between 2020 and 2050, while wholesale electricity prices could be cut by 3-8%, according to the study.
Roland Festor, OGP’s EU Affairs Director said: “We cannot afford to forego such an opportunity – every cubic metre of gas produced from EU shale resources means one cubic meter less of imported gas. That would translate into more jobs, more disposable income, better security of supply and ultimately more prosperity.”