Scientists at the University of Edinburgh are to lead a new EU study on the risks of fracking.
The research aims to improve the understanding of geological, mechanical and chemical processes involved in shale gas exploration as part of a three-year project.
Fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, is a technique of extracting gas or oil from rock formations and involves drilling deep into the ground.
The international team of researchers will make recommendations to Member States to develop legislation that mitigates the likely impacts of shale gas exploration and recovery.
“Research will be based on collecting data, carrying out experiments and creating computer models of how natural materials respond to fracking stresses. Models will be validated by comparing them with data from fracking sites in the US and proxies in Europe,” the university stated.
It added the project, funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme, will also consider the impact of any minimal seismic events induced as a result of fracking.
Last week the UK Government launched a consultation on whether it should ban fracking in protected nature sites.