Sie sind auf Seite 1von 33

1 Report on the effects of shale gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing in the Republic of Ireland.

Edited by Brigit and Ron Beemster, Fracking Research and Information Centre, Sligo 13 November 2011 Table of Contents: Section Page Summary 2 The authors 3 1 Introduction 4 2 Licences in Ireland 5 3 Introduction to shale gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing 6 4 Effects on the environment 7 4.1 Space 7 4.2 Water 9 4.3 Air 17 4.4 Sand 18 4.5 Greenhouse gas emissions 18 5 Economic effects of shale gas extraction in Ireland 26 5.1 Roads 26 5.2 Tourism 27 5.3 Agriculture 29 5.4 Jobs 30 5.5 Gas 32 5.6 Revenue and markets 32 6 International financial markets 35 7 Regulations 38 8 Conclusions 39 9 Recommendations 41 10 References 422 Summary This report is intended as a first attempt to summarize the effects that shale gas exploitation may have on the Irish environment and economy. It is meant as a discussion document and as a basis for further research in these fields. Currently, three companies hold a Licensing Option in Ireland to research if there are viable gas reserves under Irish soil. If successful, they intend to use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to exploit these resources. To date, there has been no proper discussion about the possible consequences that this method of extraction may have in Ireland. Gas companies point out that it is perfectly safe, while environmentalists and action groups stress the negative effects and accidents. On top of that, there are no Irish or European regulations specifically for hydraulic fracturing. To ensure that these different viewpoints will not lead to entrenched polarization of the issue, we recommend that before giving out any licences, the government should thoroughly investigate the effects that shale gas fracking will have on all aspects of the environment, the economy and our health, and put legislation in place to prevent any deterioration. Equally important, the government should share the results of this research with the rest of the population to make sure everybody can make an informed decision on

whether or not this process should be allowed in Ireland. If we do decide to go ahead with shale-gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Ireland, there should be a mandatory Life Cycle Analysis of new projects including an Environmental Impact Analysis. Only a full cost/benefit analysis provides a proper base for a judgement about the relevance of individual projects and their justification. Although hydraulic fracturing can and has been carried out safely and successfully for many years in both North America and Europe, accidents have occurred and have been widely reported. Therefore there are many concerns about the possible environmental effects of accidents, especially on water and air quality. There are also concerns about the increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of more fossil fuels. Both these accidents and the emissions from shale gas exploitation can be mitigated by proper well construction methods, green completions and good regulations and enforcement. However, these will make the exploitation more expensive and possibly non-viable, while enforcement of new regulations will put an extra financial strain on government and local councils. There are also some unavoidable impacts on the environment, specifically the use of large amounts of water, the construction of wellpads and roads in rural areas and forestry and the large amounts of truck traffic and its associated air pollution . The economic effects largely depend on those environmental effects. Job losses in tourism are likely when wellpads are constructed every few kilometers in tourist destination areas and heavy traffic causes both nuisance and air pollution. If pollution or major accidents occur, job losses would be unavoidable in both tourism and agriculture.3 These potential job losses will likely not be offset by the jobs generated by the gas companies, as these are mostly transient, temporary jobs, carried out by professionals from outside, with only a few local workers needed to monitor wells during the production stage, which may not last longer than an average of 7-8 years per well. The gas found in Ireland will not alleviate fuel poverty or increase energy security for Ireland, as the companies will own the gas and sell it on the open market at competitive prices. Moreover, there are indications that shale gas exploitation using hydraulic fracturing is barely economically viable in many cases, and that the industry is heavily dependent on large investments. This report shows our preliminary findings in these fields and is not to be taken as the final word on hydraulic fracturing in Ireland. All these areas need to be researched further and in depth, by as many parties as possible. We aim to continue to do research, and to issue updated reports regularly, which will be available to all interested parties. The authors The Fracking Research and Information Centre is a group of (currently) 8 researchers. The aim of the group is to carry out independent and unbiased research into all aspects of hydraulic fracturing, and to inform the government, licensing authorities, gas companies and the general public of our findings, to allow all parties in Ireland to be fully informed about this process. We are not an action group, we are not affiliated to any party and we are not funded by anybody. Individual group members have their own opinions on hydraulic fracturing (we have both proponents and opponents to the process, as well as people who have not made up their minds yet), but as a group we aim to be totally unbiased. We will carefully read and evaluate all material that we find or that anybody sends us, and incorporate it into our reports if appropriate. Please reference all material that you may wish to send us.

We can be contacted by email at 1. Introduction This report attempts to begin an informed discussion on the economic, environmental and social effects that shale gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) may have in Ireland. It is meant as a discussion document and a basis for further research in these fields. This research can then be used to make informed decisions on whether hydraulic fracturing should be allowed in Ireland or not. Shale gas is widely believed to be useful as a transition fuel, to cover the gap between dwindling fossil fuel resources and the widespread adoption of renewable energy sources. It appears to occur in large reserves all over the world, and many gas and oil companies are eager to exploit these resources, while governments see them as a means to achieve independence from imports, security of energy supplies and a more prominent presence of clean-burning gas in the energy mix [ref. 1]. However, as shale gas is a fossil fuel, it will contribute to global warming during this interim period. Moreover, the process of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is generally associated with many environmental issues. For these reasons, many people are against its adoption in Ireland. Articles and reports have been published on both sides of the subject. These either show that hydraulic fracturing is completely safe and necessary for the maintenance of our lifestyles and economy, or that it is highly damaging to the environment and only another boom-and-bust stopgap in the economy. There are serious credibility issues with practically all these reports. Gas and oil companies naturally promote the issue, as they aim to make money out of it. Out of the three companies planning to work in this field, only Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd has given a number of public information meetings, in the Northwest of Ireland, to promote their plans to carry out hydraulic fracturing. Other companies have published reports in other countries [e.g. 2, 3]. These accounts for the most part explain in general terms that the companies will do everything they can to make sure fracking is safe, without going into details. In the case of Tamboran, statements change from one presentation to the next, within a few days. This does not engender any confidence in the audience. This distrust is reinforced by articles reporting about industry conferences like Enhancing Shale Oil & Gas Development Strategies, in which the industry is encouraged to improve strategic communications, using little substantive changes to safety and performance, and far more aggressive public relations campaigns. Among other ideas, they promote the use of scientists to get the industry?s message across, because the public have lost trust in industry spokespeople [4]. The Irish government has been very quiet about the issue. They advertised the issuing of Licensing Options, as required by Law, but have only begun to make statements after being prompted by public pressure. Even then it was only to say that there was nothing to worry about, and that the Environmental Protection Agency will look into the matter.5 Moreover, officials from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources have been very reluctant to part with any information on the subject to enquiring citizens. The anti-fracking groups have been very active in this field, especially in the Northwest, holding public information meetings on the dangers of fracking. However, they can only work with information that is publicly available, mostly reports from the USA. The main problem with these reports is that they are not detailed enough and don?t account for improvements in the industry. Hydraulic fracturing has been carried out in the USA for more than 50 years, starting

off with vertical wells, with a single well on each wellpad and many pads per square kilometer. Since about 2005, horizontal drilling has been combined with slickwater hydraulic fracturing, and only lately has this been combined with placing multiple wells on each pad. This makes the pads larger and more efficient, but there are fewer per area. There have also been improvements in methane capturing techniques, well design and water management. The majority of wells in the USA are therefore of the older type, and many of the environmental reports do not distinguish between the two types. This makes it more difficult for all parties to gauge exactly what the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing will be in Ireland. To try and prevent polarization of the issue to a point where the different parties will stop talking to each other, we have attempted to write a report that is as unbiased as possible, given the above restrictions. In this report we are outlining the main areas of concern, which will all need further research. We hope that this will encourage an open and honest discussion of hydraulic fracturing and its possible future in Ireland, and a starting point for research to be carried out before any licences are issued. Because of the different viewpoints expressed by the different parties, it is important that the government apply the Precautionary Principle, i.e. don?t do anything before you know what the effects are going to be. 2. Licences in Ireland Since the 1st of March 2011, three companies hold an Onshore Petroleum Licensing Option in the Republic of Ireland. This gives them the right to research for 24 months whether there may be gas reserves under Irish soil. This research consists of examining records of previous exploration, as well as drilling for rock samples up to a maximum depth of 200 meters [5, 6, 7, 8]. The companies are: Enegi Oil Plc, a UK based oil and gas company, who were offered 495 square kilometers in the Clare Basin, also known as the Carboniferous Shannon Basin [6, 9, 10], The Lough Allen Natural Gas Company Ltd (LANGCO), an Irish company, looking at 467 km 2 in the Northwest Carboniferous Basin (or Lough Allen Basin) [7, 11], and 6 Tamboran Resources PTY Ltd, an Australian company, licensed for 986 km 2 in the Northwest Carboniferous Basin [8, 11]. Tamboran also has an Exploration Licence for an adjacent approximately 764 km 2 in Northern Ireland [12]. In addition, three other companies have also been granted Exploration Licences in Northern Ireland, where the licensing process is different from that in the Republic [13]. If they think there is enough gas to be commercially viable, the companies can apply for an Exploration Licence to drill for the gas in the Republic. They then intend to use hydraulic fracturing to release the gas from underground. 3. Introduction to shale gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing The gas that the companies are looking for is methane (CH4). It is trapped in a layer of shale up to 700 meters thick, situated up to 1500 meters underground [14, 15].

Shale is a fine-grained, sedimentary rock, originally laid down as layers of mud in river estuaries about 340 million years ago. It is essentially a mix of flakes of clay minerals and tiny bits of other minerals, like quartz and calcite. Any organic material that was trapped in the mud has been converted to oil or gas due to the high pressure and temperature underground over millions of years. In the underground rock the gas often also includes carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and radon [16, 17, 18, 19]. The natural gas composition of the Bundoran Shale and associated sandstones in the Northwest Carboniferous Basin show a composition of 99% methane, with trace amounts of nitrogen and carbon dioxide [20]. This gas does not occur in a large bubble, as in conventional gas exploration, but it is dispersed in very small pore spaces and fractures throughout the rock. To release it, the rock needs to be cracked, in a process called hydraulic fracturing or fracking [17]. To enable this process, drilling pads are constructed. These contain a drilling tower (temporarily, to drill the wells), water supply, generators, storage tanks for gas, sand, chemicals and waste water, and an access road for the trucks needed to bring in all materials and remove waste and gas [14, 21, 22]. These pads are several acres in size. According to Tamboran?s website, the smallest wellpad, for 8 wells, would need to be approximately 120 by 200 meters in size (approximately 6 acres). A wellpad with 16 wells would need to be approximately 200 m x 250 m in size or 12 acres. This wellpad would enable the underground development of 2 square miles (1,280 acres) [14]. However, according to Tamboran?s CEO, improvements in pad design have reduced the area needed to 1.3 hectares (less than 4 acres) for a 16-well pad, and 1.1 hectares (3 acres) for an 8-well pad [20]. 7 To reach the shale layer, first a vertical well is drilled. Its length depends on the depth of the shale under the pad. The drilling then continues horizontally for about one-anda-half kilometers through the shale layer. The wellbore is lined with concrete, in which small holes are drilled. The shale is then cracked by explosions using a perforating gun [21]. During the fracturing stage of the process the pad will be filled mainly with trucks and pumps [17, 21]. Fracking fluid, typically a mixture of 1 - 8 million gallons of water, sand and chemicals, is pumped in under a pressure of 5,000-14,000 psi to enlarge the cracks in the shale and release the gas. The exact amount of water and the pressure depend on the depth of the well and the composition of the rock [17]. Tamboran aims to use 1 million gallons per well, increasing to 2 million gallons if it is possible to drill longer horizontal wells [20]. The 8-16 wells on each pad will be 5-8 meters apart, and drilled in different directions [21], so that 10 20% of the shale layer will be fractured [20]. The sand grains (called proppant) are suspended in the water using a gelling agent like guar gum [23]. They keep the cracks open, so gas can escape into the wellbore. Once the well is depressurized, 40% to 60% of the fracking fluid is forced back up the pipe. This is called flow-back, and may now be mixed with gas, salt, volatile chemicals, heavy metals and radioactive material [17, 23]. After that, the gas freely flows to the surface and is captured. It is then treated (if necessary) and transported via tankers or pipelines to be sold. 4. Effects on the environment Experiences in the USA, Germany, England and other countries have given rise to many concerns about the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing. Contamination of ground- and surface water with fracking chemicals, methane and

naturally occurring underground substances, as well as earthquakes, air pollution and release of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere, have all been reported. The possibility of these effects occurring in Ireland will need to be investigated thoroughly before any Exploration Licences are issued. 4.1 Space One problem that will concern Ireland is that of space. Because the horizontal drilling is generally only carried out up to 1500 meters, there will be a pad, with access road, every 2-3 kilometers. These pads will be built in rural areas zoned for forestry and agriculture, in the Northwest and Southwest. Apparently there is no need for rezoning to industrialized areas, as local County Councils are not involved in the planning process for these pads this will be conducted directly by An Bord Pleanla. These areas are not densely populated, but there is generally a farm every few miles.8 Figure 1 shows a map of the Glenfarne area in North Leitrim [23], in which an architect has drawn wellpads to scale (red outlines), based on landscape features like level ground and access roads, and the spacing between the pads given by Tamboran [14]. This map, from left to right is about 5 miles. The grey lines show the underground network of boreholes that could be expected from these pads [23]. Figure 1. Map of Glenfarne, North Leitrim, with an architect?s impression of drilling pads (red) and underground boreholes (grey) [23]. The map clearly shows that the subsurface would be fractured everywhere [23], for about 10-20% of its volume [20]. This method has already caused earthquakes in the USA, England, Holland and Germany [16, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29]. Many of these wells would be drilled under or very near to dwelling houses, farms, roads and rivers. Companies like Tamboran aim to build their initial wellpads on Coillte land [22]. This will reduce the area suitable for recreation, and add to the environmental impact from forestry, especially on the water in the River Basin Districts. Another problem is that the wellpad area would have to be reasonably level. The landform in the Northwest of Ireland is generally hilly to steep drumlins. To construct these level pads would involve large amounts of soil and subsoil excavations and dumping.9 4.2 Water There are concerns about the amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing, as well as the possible contamination of water with chemicals or gas. Under the European Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC [30], which is Irish National Law since 2003 [31], it is EC policy to preserve, protect and improve the quality of the environment. The use of natural resources should be based on the precautionary principle. Water is not a commercial product like any other but a heritage that must be protected, defended and treated as such [30]. Decisions on the use of water within each River Basin District should be taken as close to the location where the water is used and affected, and based on the protection and sustainable use of the water (including fish populations). Deterioration of the water is not allowed [30]. The Water Framework Directive requires all groundwater to achieve good status by 2015, which includes both ecological and chemical status. As part of the regulatory requirements to achieve that end, the directive requires the least possible changes to groundwater supplies, given impacts that could not reasonably be avoided due to the nature of the human activity or pollution [30, 32].

4.2.1 Water abstraction Tamboran and LANGCO would build their wellpads in the Shannon and Northwest International River Basin Districts and the Western River Basin District. Enegi Oil will be using the southern part of the Shannon IRBD. In all these basins, a risk assessment of acidification, eutrophication and sedimentation pressures, based on the percentage of forestry cover and the underlying geology and soils, has identified rivers that are at risk of failing to achieve the required water quality standards due to potential impacts from forestry. In addition, there are impacts from water abstraction, wastewater from agriculture and unsewered properties, industrial discharges, landfills, quarries and mines and other sources of pollution [33, 34, 35]. Adding the impacts of shale gas exploration to this will increase the problems. In particular, road-making and stream-crossing can cause erosion and sediment loss on susceptible soils, and clear-felling of forests may change water flow patterns [33, 35]. The millions of gallons of water used for fracking have to come from somewhere. Irish people use about 150 litres of water per day [36], so 1 million gallons (4.54 million litres) is the amount of water used in one day by just over 30,000 people. Most water abstractions are currently sustainable in the Shannon International River Basin District, the North Western IRBD and the Western RBD. However, abstractions pose a potential risk to 32 rivers and 10 lakes in the Shannon IRBD, due to their possible impact on river flows and lake levels, particularly during 10 periods of low flow [33]. In the North Western IRBD, abstraction poses a potential risk to 54 rivers and 28 lakes [35], while in the Western RBD 204 rivers and 24 lakes are potentially at risk [34]. Large amounts of water are abstracted daily for domestic use and for use in agriculture, industry and recreation. Too much abstraction reduces the flow in springs and rivers and lowers the water levels in lakes, wetlands and wells. That can make water supplies unsustainable and adversely affect aquatic plants and animals and wetland areas. In extreme cases river beds may dry up, lake shores can become exposed and, in coastal areas, salt water may seep into groundwater. Future population growth and climate change may reduce the available water resource in some areas in the future [33, 34, 35, 36]. In order to ensure sustainable water use, abstraction controls will need to take account of future changes in rainfall patterns and consequent impacts on availability of water resources. Water conservation programmes, increased storage capacity and buffer zones around water bodies will ensure that habitats are better able to cope with changing climatic conditions, while improving soil and subsoil water retention [33, 34, 35]. The gas industry is planning to use both directly gathered rainwater and groundwater from water wells drilled on the wellpad [14]. Both methods will have an impact on the water table and will add to the pressure on rivers and lakes in the River Basin Districts. If rainwater does not get into the ground, or if water is pumped from the ground it reduces the amounts available in rivers and groundwater. If water is taken away from a certain area, water will flow into the depleted area from somewhere else, changing the overall water table [37]. In summertime many households in the Northwest are cut off from the water supply because there is not enough water. We will have to find out what impact this industry is going to have on our water supply for human consumption, but also for agriculture. 4.2.2 Pollution of water with chemicals More than 1,000 past cases of drinking water contamination in the USA are believed to be related to the historic use of hydraulic fracturing. Most of these are associated

with older, vertical wells [38]. In Ireland, wells will be built for the use of horizontal hydraulic fracturing procedures, so some, but not all, of the past concerns about groundwater contamination could subside. Besides the use of improved technology, horizontal drilling is more effective, decreasing the overall number of wells needed per unit of gas output because they can serve a larger underground area [38]. However, a number of areas of concern remain. In the first place, there are many naturally occurring substances in the shale formation, and the process of hydraulic fracturing can affect their "mobility", which means their 11 ability to move around and potentially enter a water source. These substances may include: naturally occurring salt found in or just above the shale rock, laid down as salt deposits millions of years ago, when Ireland was submerged gases, such as methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, nitrogen and helium trace elements of poisonous substances such as mercury, arsenic and lead naturally occurring radioactive material (radium, thorium, uranium) volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that easily vaporise into the air, such as benzene [17, 32]. After hydraulic fracturing, fracking fluids and deep waters flow through the well to the surface along with the shale gas [39]. This flowback water may contain any of those substances, which can thus come to the surface. Alternatively they may remain underground and diffuse in unpredictable ways. In the second place, the drilling, fracturing and maintenance stages of the exploitation process have so far never been carried out without the use of chemical additives. Water-based fracturing fluid must at least include an anti-corrosive, a bacteria-cide, an anti-scaling chemical, an acid treatment and a friction reducer [40]. Tamboran aims to be the first company ever to carry out hydraulic fracturing without the use of chemicals [22]. The company?s CEO states that the vertical sections of the wellbores will be air-drilled, while drilling the horizontal sections of the wells will only require the use of biodegradable non-toxic drilling mud [20]. Whether this is possible is disputed [40, 41], and no such assurances have been given by the other two companies that aim to drill in the Republic of Ireland (LANGCO and Enegi Oil). Therefore it remains necessary to look into the effects of the chemicals typically used in hydraulic fracturing. Chemicals that have been used in hydraulic fracturing in the USA range from common and generally harmless (e.g. salt and citric acid) to extremely toxic (benzene and lead) [32]. Between 2005 and 2009 the most widely used chemical in hydraulic fracturing in the USA, as measured by the number of compounds containing the chemical, was methanol, used in 342 hydraulic fracturing products. Methanol is a hazardous air pollutant and is on the candidate list for potential regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act. Some of the other most widely used chemicals were: Isopropyl alcohol (used in 274 products), 2-butoxyethanol (used in 126 products), and Ethylene glycol (used in119 products). Between 2005 and 2009, the oil and gas service companies used hydraulic fracturing products containing 29 chemicals that are: known or possible human carcinogens,12 regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act for their risks to human health, or

listed as hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. These 29 chemicals were components of more than 650 different products used in hydraulic fracturing [32]. Pollutants sometimes include formaldehyde, boric acid, methanol, hydrochloric acid, and isopropanol, which can damage the brain, eyes, skin and nervous system on direct contact, or may cause birth defects [16, 39, 42]. The BTEX compounds (benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene) appeared in 60 of the hydraulic fracturing products used between 2005 and 2009. Each BTEX compound is a regulated contaminant under the Safe Drinking Water Act and a hazardous air pollutant [32]. Contamination incidents have been documented by courts and by state and local governments. Tests from these incidents have sometimes shown high levels of benzene turning up in groundwater and stream samples. Benzene is of significance because eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and even death. Benzene is classified as a human carcinogen and its maximum permissible limit is regulated by the EPA. Water and soil contamination are important pathways of concern for transmission of benzene contact. In the United States, 100,000 different sites have some form of benzene soil and groundwater contamination [38]. After the fracking water has been pumped down the well, 40 to 60% stays underground. We do not know what the long term effects of this will be. The rest returns to the surface and will be stored in large containers [14]. This flowback water will contain large amounts of these chemicals (if used) and of the naturally occurring substances released from the shale. Both the water that stays underground and the wastewater will be toxic. There are 5 options for treating the waste water [39, 43]. 1. Transport to treatment centres were it is treated and released to local surface water. But Ireland does not have treatment centres that can cope with these large volumes or the specific pollutants found. 2. Injections into a deep geologically stable layer underground, which is not likely to be an option either in the Northwest or in the Clare Basin [44]. 3. Recycling for other uses, or re-injected as fracking fluid, which would also reduce the water requirements. This is the preferred option for most companies, due to high costs of haulage and disposal of waste water [2, 20]. 4. Spread on roads for dust suppression - hardly useful in this country. 5. Evaporation into the air, which releases the chemicals, causing air pollution. Each of these solutions carries risks of pollution to air, water and land [18].13 The Duke University report recommends that a detailed evaluation of the safety of the disposal methods be conducted, particularly for wastewater disposal to streams and rivers. The study should evaluate what amounts of different contaminants, including naturally occurring radioactive chemicals, are removed in wastewater treatment plants and/or brine treatment centres. It should also establish what long-term ecological effects the chemicals that are not removed will have downstream from the treatment facilities [39]. We don?t know what the companies intend to do with the waste water in Ireland. Tamboran claims that 100% of the water will be recycled [20], which is physically impossible. 4.3.3 Pollution of water with methane Another concern for water pollution comes from the methane. The USA has a history of shale gas extraction since 1949. Osborn and colleagues [39] published a report in 2011 with the first systematic evidence of methane contamination in areas in the US where shale gas occurs. Based

on groundwater analyses of 60 private wells, they found concentrations of methane to be 17 times higher on average in places were there was active drilling, than in places were there was no drilling. Some places had concentrations well above the immediate action hazard level. Average and maximum methane concentrations were higher in shallow water wells within 1000 meters of shale gas wells. Isotopic data and other measurements showed the methane was consistent with the gas found deep in the reservoirs such as the Marcellus and Urica shales at active sites, and matched the gas geochemistry nearby [39]. This proved that the methane in the wells had come from deep underground. They didn?t find evidence of fracking fluids or saline produced waters [39]. The presence or absence of salt deposits depends on the geology of the area. Despite precautions by the industry, there are four ways in which contaminated and highly toxic water may enter the ground- or surface water bodies that we use for domestic and agricultural purposes: 1. Accidents during fracking, or during transport or disposal of waste water. Experience from the USA shows that in practice many serious accidents happen, and too often companies are fined for violations [16, 18]. 2. Leakage from equipment, storage containers, corroded well casings or pipes. If wastewater is stored in surface storage ponds, it may also seep through damaged lining into groundwater [45], or overflow into rivers or lakes due to floods or heavy rainfall. A significant amount of Irish streams are natural fish nurseries, many of them being salmonid streams and legally protected EU Annexed Habitat. However, on modern wellpads, wastewater will be stored in containers, not in ponds [2, 20], so this problem should not arise.14 3. Improper construction of the the concrete lining around the wellbore may cause the casing to crack or shrink and release polluted water straight into the aquifer [18, 24, 43, 45, 46]. This is the most common cause of water pollution. These three risks can be reduced and probably avoided with adequate technical directives, cautious handling practice and supervision by public authorities. However, all these safety measures increase the project costs and slow down development speed. Therefore, the risk of accidents increases with increasing economic pressure and the need for speeding up development. More wells per time need higher efforts for supervision and monitoring [18]. 4. Fracturing most of the shale may cause the overlying rock formations to fracture, allowing gas and chemicals to escape upwards into the water table, to pollute drinking water, rivers and lakes [47]. When gas wells are thousands of feet deep and far below the shallow aquifers that typically provide drinking water, contamination is often stated to be impossible due to the distance between the well and the drinking water [39]. Although this seems reasonable, it is well known that small earthquakes can be induced by hydraulic fracturing, which might mobilize gas or fluids through naturally created fractures [18]. Therefore we have to look at our own geological landscape and assess the risk of pollutants getting in the water. As the shale in Ireland is closer to the surface [14, 21, 22] and thus closer to the water table than in the Marcellus Basin in the USA, it will be correspondingly easier for methane to diffuse into the water. The ground profile in the Northwest Carboniferous Basin (the Lough Allen Basin), is shown in figure 2 [14, 15]. Fig. 2 Ground profile in the Northwest Carboniferous Basin [14]. The Bundoran Shale layer (BUNS) is the main target for the companies, although the shallower Benbulben Shale (BBSF) and the Mullaghmore Sandstone in between the two may also contain gas [14]. The overlying layers are mainly different forms of limestone, which are very

permeable, and contain underground rivers. If gas gets into those layers, it may percolate upwards into the groundwater or into rivers and lakes. This danger is greatest at the sites of the natural faults (fig. 2) and fissures in the rock formations. These faults can act like a chimney and draw the gas upwards, as happens 15 naturally in gas chimneys coincident with major faults in the Porcupine and Sline/Erris Basins off the Irish coast [44]. There is also a danger of fracking water and gas travelling to the surface in places where the rock formations are exposed at the surface. Geologists worry about the Shannon river basin, as this is a maze of underground caves and waterways. In the Southwest, the Clare Shale Formation extends across the whole basin (figure 3). It is up to 180 m thick around the Shannon Estuary, but only 12 m thick in North Clare. The Clare Shale Formation is dominated by black, laminated shales and contains a number of fossiliferous marine bands within it. The character of the formation, and its stratigraphical position resting on earlier limestones, suggests the original limestone basin was flooded and there was slow suspension deposition of clays under deep, euxinic (oxygen-starved) conditions [10]. The shale is overlain by the Ross Sandstone Formation, which is thickest in the area of south Clare (c. 350m) and thins towards the north, east and south. It is primarily composed of sandstones with subordinate interbedded shales and slumped horizons of mixed lithology. The sand is mostly fine to very fine grained, in decimeter to meterscale beds, many of which have a sheet geometry [10]. Fig. 3 Diagramatic interpretation of the depositional setting of the Namurian Geology of Clare Basin [10]16 Contamination of the water could mean; fish kills, and thus damage to all the wildlife that eats fish damage to ecosystems fines for breaking directives danger to agriculture danger to people?s wells In the Northwest River Basin District, lakes like Lough Melvin would be at risk. A large proportion of the shale gas exploration will be taking place in the Lough Melvin catchment area [7, 8, 11, 48]. This lake is one of the very few oligo-mesotrophic lakes left in Europe. It contains a number of unique indigenous fish species, like Arctic Char, Gillaroo and Ferox Trout, and also supports Atlantic Salmon. In addition, within the catchment area nationally and internationally significant habitat types are found, such as peat bogs, nutrient-poor and species-rich grassland, hay meadows, oak woodlands and natural scrublands [48]. Another area of concern is for Dublin, which has plans to take its drinking water from Lough Derg in the Shannon [36], and will need a filtration facility if this water is polluted. The cost of a filtration facility for New York was estimated to be $10 billion [38]. It is up to the Irish government to ensure that there are proper laws in place with regard to waste water to protect the environment and the health of the population. On the whole Ireland?s ground water is still relatively clean. Calling for a near-zero risk scenario before allowing drilling would be sensible. 4.3.4 Examples of water pollution events In the USA: In the period from January 2003 to March 2008 a total of 1549 spills are referenced. Twenty percent of the spills involved water contamination. It is noteworthy that the number of spills was increasing. For instance, while five spills were reported in

Garfield County in the year 2003, 55 spills were reported in 2007 [18]. In August 2010, Atlas Resources? was fined in Pennsylvania for allowing a hydraulic fracturing fluid overflow from a wastewater pit contaminating a high-quality watershed in Washington County [18]. At a drilling pad with three gas wells in Troy, Pennsylvania, Fortune Energy? illegally discharged flow-back fluids into a drainage ditch and through a vegetated area, eventually reaching a tributary of Sugar Creek [18]. In June 2010, the West Virgina Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) released a report concluding that in August 2009 Tapo Energy? discharged an unknown quantity of a petroleum based material? associated with drilling activities 17 into a tributary of Buckeye Creek in Doddridge County. The spill contaminated a thee-mile-long segment of the creek [18]. Most of these water contaminations are due to improper practices. Therefore, very strict handling of these issues should be mandatory. In Europe: In Germany, waste water pipes from the tight gas field Shlingen leaked in 2007. This caused groundwater contamination with benzene and mercury. Though the corresponding Mining Agency of Lower Saxony (Landesbergbehrde) was correctly informed, the public noticed the accident only in 2011 when the company started to replace the agricultural soil where the fluids had leaked into the ground [18]. 4.3 Air Apart from possible water pollution, we also face air pollution. The diesel engines of trucks and generators used in transport and the fracking process will produce: sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs, such as benzene), particulate matter methane (NH4) carbon monoxide (CO) and carbon dioxide (CO2) [17, 32]. NOx gases are responsible for the brown haze around areas of industry. Sulphur and nitrogen oxides contribute to acid rain, which is responsible for the destruction of lake ecosystems. These gases also produce ground-level ozone. Ozone combined with small particulate matter forms ozone smog, which has been linked to illness and death [32]. In the USA, this ozone smog has created a serious air pollution problem similar to that found in large urban areas. It can spread up to 300 km beyond the immediate region where gas is being produced [17, 32, 43]. In Dish [Texas] a set of seven samples collected throughout the town analyzed for a variety of air pollutants found that benzene was present at levels as much as 55 times higher than allowed by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Similarly, xylene and carbon disulfide (neurotoxins), along with naphthalene (a blood poison) and pyridines (potential carcinogens) all exceeded legal limits, as much as 384 times the levels that are deemed safe [32]. In Texas, the US Environmental Defense Fund (an environmental organisation) expressed concern that "regulatory agencies were inadequately monitoring air quality [32]. This can also be expected in Ireland, in view of the lack of funding for regulatory agencies. 18 4.4 Sand The sand used in fracking is crystalline silica. It is very fine and the dust can cause lung cancer and silicosis. Sand mining requires removing the top layer of earth over a sandstone deposit and using heavy equipment and large amounts of water to produce the fine grains. This

poses a threat to air and water quality, and emits a large amount of greenhouse gases. The mining process can also cause erosion and run-off that can fill nearby rivers with sediment, reducing oxygen levels for fish and plants [49]. In the USA, there is already a shortage of fracking sand, and Wabasha County has put a moratorium on mining silica sand - also known as frac sand - in the county [50] 4.5 Greenhouse gas emissions 4.5.1 Sources of greenhouse gas emissions in hydraulic fracturing Natural gas, when burned, is a clean burning gas; it only produces half the amount of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2eq) of coal [51], at about 200 g CO2-equivalent per kWh of energy produced [18]. The problem with shale gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing, however, is that it requires vast amounts of energy and emits large amounts of greenhouse gases to extract the gas from the ground. This is due to the low gas recovery per well and fugitive methane losses, the higher efforts for development, and the low throughput of gathering lines and compressors [18]. This has been found in the USA, but assessments from US practice cannot simply be transferred to the European situation. A realistic assessment based on project data is still missing, as European shale gas extraction is only in its infancy [18]. When viewed over the total life-cycle of the process, there are two reasons for the high greenhouse gas emissions in shale gas extraction [17, 39, 42, 51, 52]: 1. The construction and operation of each individual well pad requires: Well and well pad construction Road construction Vertical and horizontal drilling Hydraulic fracturing and flow back Transportation of water; 1 to 8 millions of gallons for one well Transportation of waste water; 0.5 to 4 millions of gallons for one well Waste water treatment Transportation of chemicals Transportation of sand Diesel needed to produce high pressure for hydraulic fracturing Pipe laying Distribution of the gas Forest felling19 All this requires energy and a large amount of heavy traffic, and releases carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere. Figure 4 shows the resources needed for delivering a minimum of 9 billion cubic meters per year over 20 years, which is 10% of UK total gas consumption [21]. Fig. 4 Resource requirements to deliver 9 billion cubic meters of shale gas per year over 20 years [21] However, despite the high level of industrial activity involved in developing shale gas, the indirect emissions of CO2 from these processes only produce 1 to 1.5 grammes of carbon per million Joules (g C MJ -1 ) of energy extracted. This is 0.04 to 0.45 g C MJ -1 greater than emissions for conventional gas. These values are relatively small compared to those from the direct combustion of the fuel, which accounts for 15 g C MJ -1 [51]

2. The largest contributor to the high emissions from shale gas is methane (CH4). Shale gas is composed largely of methane, which has 105 times more global warming impact pound for pound than CO2 over a 20 year timeframe, and 33 times more over a 100 year timeframe. [52]. During the life cycle of an average shale-gas well, 3.6 to 7.9% of the total production of the well is emitted to the atmosphere as methane [51, 52]. Methane escapes when wells are drilled Methane escapes when wells are hydraulically fractured At least 0.6% to 3.2% of the life-time production of methane from the wells escapes from flow- back return fluids At least 0.33% to 0.62% of methane escapes during drill-out following the fracturing (the stage in which the plugs set to separate fracturing stages are drilled out to release gas for production) 20 0.3% to 1.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in routine venting and through leaks over the lifetime of a well Up to 0.19% of gas produced is lost during processing 1.4% to 3.6% is emitted as leakage during transmission, storage, and distribution [51] Gas flare or flare stacks are used in gas wells to dispose? of waste gas. Flares act as a safety system to manage excess gas pressure and can be used in an emergency to help burn off excess gas. Gas flares are a significant global contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (0.5% of all anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions) [42] Focusing only on methane, and excluding the contribution of carbon dioxide from the construction and extraction process, Howarth et al. calculated that the methane emission from fracking were 22 to 43% higher than from conventional gas, 20 to 50% greater than from coal, and at least 50% and perhaps 250% greater than for oil [51, 52]. These figures are considered over a 20-year time frame. It is expected that shale gas extraction will not last much longer than that before reserves are exhausted [24]. Moreover the 20-year horizon is critical, given the need to reduce global warming in coming decades [51]. A new report from the Environmental Protection Agency in the USA has shown recently that the methane escaping from the well drilling and hydraulic fracturing is 9.000 times higher than previously estimated [53]. The combination of emissions from these processes gives an estimate of 348 - 438 tonnes CO2eq per well. This figure will increase if the well is re-fractured, something which could happen up to 5 times, and could happen every 4-5 years for successful wells (while the average lifetime for a well in the Marcellus shale field is only 7 years [21], some wells in the USA have been producing gas for more that 20 years). The significance of these emissions is dependent on the rate of return for the well, which is site specific. In the USA, on average, the additional CO2eq emissions associated with the processes above account for between 0.14-1.63 tonnes CO2eq per Terajoule (10 12 Joule) of gas energy extracted. The value depends on the total amount of gas that is extracted per well and the number of times it is re-fractured. In the UK, it is thought that additional CO2 emissions per well will be at the higher end of estimates compared to the USA, as UK reserve potential is low in comparison to the USA basins [21]. In Ireland, the emissions per well are likely to be similar to the UK figures. Because well productivity decreases very rapidly over the first 5 years, new wells and

well pads need to be constantly developed to sustain output [21]. An analysis of Barnett shale wells suggests that the average lifetime of a horizontal shale well is only around 7 years (and that the mode is 4 years). It has been assumed 21 that wells are no longer economical from year 8 onwards and that production then ceases [21]. Figure 5 shows the level of emissions that can be expected world-wide for three different scenarios (high, medium and low extraction levels), based on 450,000 billion cubic meters of global shale gas resource, with 50% extracted by 2050 and 100% extracted by 2100 [21]. This could lead to 183 billion tonnes of CO2eq emissions worldwide in the worst-case scenario, leading to an increase of 11 parts of CO2 per million, and exacerbating global warming. Fig. 5 Global emission levels to be expected from high, medium and low extraction levels, based on 450,000 billion cubic meters of global shale gas resource [21] 4.5.2 Irelands greenhouse gas emissions Ireland has signed on to the Kyoto protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Figure 6 shows an emission table for Ireland for 1990 to 2005, detailing the contribution of different economic sectors [54] Fig. 6 Ireland?s greenhouse gas emissions by sector, 1990-2005 [54] The graph shows that we were producing 70 million tonnes of CO2eq in 2005 [54]. Our main greenhouse gas emissions are: CO2 emissions, with 94% contributed by energy use (fuel combustion as an energy source for electricity generation), transport, industry, commercial and residential sectors.22 Methane (CH4) emissions, largely from agriculture (ruminant animals) and from landfills. Nitrous oxide (N2O), mainly from agriculture, although it is also a product of fossil fuel combustion. HFC, PFC and SF6 emissions, from a range of industrial sectors and solvent use [55]. This is offset by carbon absorption by sinks, mainly forests. Forests reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, because trees take carbon dioxide out of the air and turn it into cellulose (wood). CO2 absorption associated with the growth in the forested area from 1990 to 2010 was expected to represent close to 10% of 1990 emissions. This means an annual absorption of about 6 million tonnes of CO2, as seen in figure 7. The exact amount depends on the composition of the forests, with deciduous trees absorbing less carbon than conifers [55]. Fig. 7 Ireland?s greenhouse gas emissions in 1995, in 1000s of tonnes [55] Unfortunately, the gas companies will be using Coillte land first for their wellpad construction [16, 22], which means cutting the trees and replacing them with concrete pads. The cement used in concrete is based on processed limestone and every tonne of cement used will also add a tonne of CO2 to our emissions. So each new pad will reduce the amount of trees absorbing CO2 and add more from the concrete, as well as from the escaping methane. As proposed to the European Commission in 2006, Ireland?s target in relation to the Kyoto Protocol is to limit emissions to 13 per cent above the baseline for the period 2008-2012. The baseline estimate for Ireland is calculated as the sum of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions in 1990 and the contribution from fluorinated gases in 1995. This baseline value was established at 55.78 million tonnes CO2eq on the basis of the emissions estimates available in 2006 [54]. This allows Ireland to emit 315 Mt CO2eq over the 5-year period 2008-2012. That is 63 million tonnes per year on average

Ireland?s emissions have been consistently higher than this baseline, as shown in figure 8:23 27.1% higher in 2001 23.6% higher in 2002 23.4% higher in 2003 23.1% higher in 2004 25.4% higher in 2005 23.1% higher in 2006 20.0% higher in 2007 23.0% higher in 2008 12.0% higher in 2009 [54, 56]. Fig. 8 Ireland?s total greenhouse gas emissions compared to baseline level and Kyoto target path [54, 56] Ireland?s greenhouse gas emissions have gone down since 2005 due to the economic recession, not as the result of any policy [56]. We do not know what the level of shale gas extraction in Ireland is going to be, so we can not calculate the total greenhouse gas emissions we can expect. We only know shale gas is comparable higher than other fossil fuels and that it will add to our greenhouse gas emissions. In a summary for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Kirchgessner and colleagues estimated methane emissions associated with the USA gas industry to be 6.04 2.01 x 10 12 g CH4 in 1991, an amount that accounted for 19-21% of all US methane emissions attributable to human activities [39]. Adding about 20% to our total methane emissions by extracting shale gas would raise our emissions to unacceptable levels again. Unless we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from all areas, we will have to pay high fines for our emissions. Ireland has already been in the European Court of Justice for non-compliance with EU regulations in 28 cases since 1996. That represents 25% of all environmental court cases in Europe. How high the bill will be for exceeding our greenhouse gas emissions is a complicated question, as it involves carbon emission trading with other countries. A figure of 7 billion has been suggested [57]24 The true cost however: Emission laws are put in place to try and limit the effects of global warming. High greenhouse gas emissions add to global warming. We are already paying on a world-wide basis for this: higher food prices, insurance for natural disasters, and governments and citizens have to deal with the costs and effects of floods, hurricanes, droughts, etc. 4.5.3 Reduction of methane emissions in hydraulic fracturing According to the Howarth report, the large greenhouse gas footprint of shale gas undercuts the logic of its use as a bridging fuel over coming decades, if the goal is to reduce global warming. Substituting shale gas for other fossil fuels may not have the desired effect of mitigating climate warming [51]. Likewise, the Tyndall report states that it is important for the UK to find ways to reduce fossil fuel use, not to exploit more. Even if shale gas resulted in no additional emissions in the UK, (e.g. it substituted for imported gas), in an energy-hungry world any gas not imported would just be used elsewhere with an associated increase in global emissions.

Shale gas will not substitute for other fossil fuels and in this regard claiming shale gas as a viable low carbon option for the UK cannot be reconciled with the spirit of UK commitments on climate change [21]. Given the facts that Ireland is already over the emission limits set by the Kyoto Protocol, and that adding this new industry will be certain to raise these emissions even further, it is obvious that Ireland could only allow shale gas extraction using hydraulic fracturing if emissions from the process could be reduced significantly. In addition, existing emissions in all other sectors will need to be reduced. But, according to members of the European Commission, where possible fugitive emissions are duly mitigated and the gas replaces more carbon-intensive energy sources, the use of shale gas could enable greenhouse gas emissions reductions [1]. In the USA, the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB) supports adoption of rigorous standards for new and existing sources of methane and other air pollutants from shale gas operations as quickly as practicable, and a thorough assessment of the greenhouse gas footprint for cradle-to-grave use of natural gas. Methane leakage and uncontrolled venting of methane should be eliminated as much as possible. When methane emissions cannot be captured, they should be flared whenever volumes are sufficient to do so [43]. On July 28, 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed amendments to its regulations for air emissions for oil and gas operations. If finalized and fully implemented, this proposal will reduce emissions of VOCs, air toxics and, collaterally, methane. The proposal specifically addresses hydraulically fractured well re-completions, at which green completions must be used. Green completions use equipment that will capture methane and other air contaminants, avoiding their release [43].25 Moreover, it is in the interest of the industry itself to reduce methane losses to the atmosphere. The industry has solutions to avoid, or lower, the impact of such events. Methane capture is not only environmentally responsible, but may also be profitable, as every barrel of methane captured means more profit for the companies [58, 59]. There are over 695.000 producing gas wells in the USA, with an estimated 6.8 thousand cubic meters of methane emissions per well-year. This means a total of 4.7 billion cubic meters of methane is emitted to the atmosphere every year [60]. Methane emissions during the flow-back period can, in theory, be reduced by up to 90% through Reduced Emission Completions technologies (REC) [51, 59]. Reduced Emission Completions technologies reduce venting and flaring by using a sand trap and a three-phase separator, which separate the sand and water from the gas during flow-back. A portable desiccant dehydrator then dehydrates the gas, so it can be sold [59, 60]. In the USA, recovery of between 2% and 89% of total gas produced during well completions and workovers has been reported, and producers say they can recover between 7 and 12.5 billion cubic feet from each cleanup, saving tens of thousands of dollars. The REC equipment costs $500.000 to buy, with a payback time of 3 to 5 months for a 25-well-per-year drilling program [59]. However, REC technologies require that pipelines to the well are in place prior to completion, which is not always possible in emerging development areas. These technologies are currently not in widespread use [51]. 2.000 to 45.000 cubic meters of methane per year are vented per well, to expel liquids from the well tubing, which otherwise could accumulate and reduce or halt production. Instead of venting, plunger lifts can be used, which use the pressure in the well to lift columns of fluid out of the well. This can lead to an estimated 10% increase in gas production, and emission reductions of 4.6 billion cubic meters of methane per year in

the 175.000 US gas wells that have these plunger lifts installed [60]. The drawback of using plunger lifts is that the fixed timer cycles may not match reservoir performance, which would still result in manual venting when the plunger lift is overloaded. These drawbacks can be overcome by using Smart Automation Well Venting, which monitors pressure, flow rate and plunger travel time to optimize the plunger cycle time. This further reduces emissions and increases the amount of recovered methane [60]. Emissions during transmission, storage, and distribution could probably be reduced through use of better storage tanks and compressors and through improved monitoring for leaks. However, industry has shown little interest in making the investments needed to reduce these emission sources [51].26 5 Economic effects of shale gas extraction in Ireland The economic benefits we would expect from shale gas extraction are jobs, a secure supply of gas, and revenue. However, there may also be economic costs, in the form of job losses in tourism and agriculture and damage to roads and infrastructure. In this chapter, we will have a look at the economic costs and gains of shale gas extraction. 5.1 Roads One of the costs is the damage to our local road network. In each individual well, productivity decreases very rapidly over the first 5 years. An analysis of Barnett shale wells, for example, suggests that the average lifetime of a horizontal shale well is only around 7 years (and that the mode is 4 years). It has been assumed that wells are no longer economical from year 8 onwards and that production then ceases [21]. The rapid decline in production from one year to the next means that new wells and well pads need to be constantly developed to sustain output [21]. For every 16-well pad on a 12-acre site, we will see between 11.215 and 17.315 truck visits [61]. Figure 9 shows a breakdown of the purposes of these trucks, with low and high estimates of the amount of trucks needed for each purpose. Truck visits : Purpose Per well Per 16-well pad Low High Low High Drill pad and road construction equipment 60 270 Drilling rig 30 30 Drilling fluid and materials 25 50 400 800 Drilling equipment (casing, drill pipe, etc) 25 50 400 800 Completion rig 15 15 Completion fluid and materials 10 20 160 320 Completion equipment (pipe, wellhead) 5 5 80 80 Hydraulic fracture equipment 150 200 Hydraulic fracture water 400 600 6400 9600 Hydraulic fracture sand 20 25 320 400 Flowback water removal 200 300 3200 4800 Total 11.215 17.315 Fig. 9 Estimated amount of truck visits needed for one 12-acre, 16-well pad [61] These figures are adapted from a 6-well pad construction in the USA [61] to a proposed Irish 16-well pad on a 12-acre site [14]. The number of truck visits can be minimized significantly if companies drill their own water wells and re-use the 27 flowback water in subsequent wells [2, 20], but a few thousand trucks per pad will be the minimum figure. The largest nuisance impacts traffic, air pollution and noise typically occur in the first 20 to 30 days of the drilling process and its completion period, when heavy truck

traffic uses the local roads. Trucks can weigh as much as 100,000 lbs, fully loaded. This increased traffic may cause damage to the road, the results of which would last until the roads are repaved. These tractor-trailers are necessary to haul the excavation equipment, the hundreds of tons of material for the construction of the drilling pad, the drilling rig, tons of sand during hydraulic fracturing, and other equipment such as holding tanks. Then the gas needs to be transported from the site, trucks are needed for generating pressure, transport of chemicals, etc. And after the wells run dry all this material has to be trucked away again [38]. All this traffic will be using roads that weren?t built to carry that kind of load. In other industrial developments there is one site and so only one road. In this project there are going to be hundreds of sites, dispersed all over the country, making it necessary to use nearly all our roads and so damaging all of them. Local governments are responsible for finding solutions to the damage done to local roads, or dealing with community complaints and traffic hazards if they delay repair [38]. Road use agreements between drilling companies and local councils can be used to delineate responsibility for repairs and limit truck use to specific times and locations to minimize damage and avoid community disruptions. However, there are no established best practices for road use agreements, and no way for councils to limit drilling-related activities while an agreement is negotiated [38]. Currently regulations and bonding requirements are not enough to ensure that communities are protected from drilling developments and associated activities [38]. The cost of repair for the roads should be paid by those who cause the damage. For example, it is reported that West Virginia Department of transportation has increased the bonds that industrial gas drillers must pay from $6,000 to $100,000 per mile of road [21]. 5.2 Tourism The combination of heavy truck traffic on the roads, wellpads built every few kilometers and the possible pollution from hydraulic fracturing will affect tourism, which is an important source of income for Ireland. In 2008, the government earned an estimated revenue of 1.5 billion through taxation of tourism, of which 1.1 billion came from foreign tourism. The tourism industry accounted for 3.7% of all tax revenue collected that year [62].28 The value of exported goods and services in 2008 was estimated at 151.9 billion of which 4.8 billion can be directly attributed to tourism, accounting for 3.2% of exports. Being largely service based, tourism goods have low import content in comparison to other exports [62]. 92% of the people who visit Ireland find the beauty and unspoiled scenery important [63]. The areas where hydraulic fracturing is planned are Leitrim, Cavan, Donegal, Sligo, Mayo, Cork, Kerry, Clare and the Shannon basin. These are the more unspoiled areas in our country, which attract two-thirds of the tourists to Ireland. The total numbers of foreign visitors to the Northwest, West, Southwest and the Shannon area in 2010 was 3.914.000. They generated 1.234 billion in revenue in those areas. This was from overseas visitors alone (figure 10) [63]. Fig. 10 Overseas visitors to Ireland in 2010, their destinations and the revenue they brought in [63]. On top of that, 64% of Irish holiday makers visited these regions in 5.3 million trips, spending 0.95 billion in the local economy in 2009 [64]. That gives a total of 2.18 billion spent in the areas where fracking will have an influence.

20% out of a total of 5.8 million foreign visitors to Ireland engaged in outdoor activities [63], while 46% of Irish tourists spend time hiking, cycling, angling, horse riding or playing golf [64]. These are all activities that will be affected by hydraulic fracturing. The total number of people employed in tourism in Ireland is 200.000 [63] Even if only half of them became unemployed due to fracking, that would amount to 100.000 jobs lost. 29 Finally, Ireland has been voted the Frommer?s Guide readers? favourite destination, ranked No. 1 out of 10 destinations based on factors such as our countryside, our history and opportunities to ramble and explore [63]. It would be safe to conclude that tourism numbers will drop. Because tourism is characterised by the fact that consumption takes place where the service is available and tourism activity is particularly concentrated in areas which lack an intensive industry base, it is credited with having a significant regional distributive effect [62]. This indicates that the areas in which hydraulic fracturing is planned currently depend on tourism rather than industry for jobs. Any loss in employment in tourism would therefore have to be compensated for by an equal gain in employment from hydraulic fracturing. 5.3 Agriculture Another potential area for job losses is agriculture. Agriculture is one of the mainstays of the Irish economy, and it still has an enormous potential for growth. The foodprocessing sector has grown by 2% per year over the last decade [65]. However, previous chapters have shown the risk potential posed to water, soil and air from chemicals and methane by hydraulic fracturing. Agriculture is one of the main users of water and land. Agriculture and the Irish food industry between them provide 14-15% of all Irish jobs, between 287.000 and 308.000 jobs [66]. Agricultural production has an important economic impact across other sectors of the economy as well. Every 100 of agricultural output creates an additional 73 of output in the wider economy. This gives a total of 9.25 billion output in the Irish economy [66]. The economic downturn has clearly shown that it is the exporting sectors that are currently the main driving force of economic recovery. Ireland?s agrifood industry accounts for over 60% of the exports from Irish-owned manufacturing [65]. As the Irish Farmer?s Association reports: To date this year, the value of food and drink exports has increased by 18% or 388m, to 2.465bn. In Food Harvest 2020, the national strategy for the development of the agri-food sector, industry leaders identified the potential of agriculture to increase farm gate output by 1.5bn and to grow our export value to 12bn. [65] The effect of agriculture on the local economy is also significant. Irish farmers spend almost 4 billion per year on agricultural inputs, and another 4 billion on living expenses. Most of this money is spent locally [66]. Clearly any threat to agriculture should be avoided as this is such an important industry for Ireland. 30 The more wellpads are constructed, the higher the chance of accidents, both from leakage and from accidents with trucks on roads that are not suited for this kind of heavy traffic. However, there is a good chance that farmers will welcome the development of wellpads on their land. The bigger farmers, due to the nature of modern farming, are in huge debts because they have to borrow so much money for buying machinery, fertilizer, etc.

As a result most of them are taking home a small pay package. If an accident would occur, they would have no means of paying for the damage and it could wipe them out. They are then also unable to pay back their debts and the banks will be left with even greater debts. The smaller farmers are often struggling as well. The prospect of leasing the land to the gas companies seems to be an attractive way of making more money. The land, however, will only be leased for about seven or eight years, the lifetime of these wells. The lease will then be terminated and the farmer is left with land that is unusable for agriculture. Plus he has run the risk of pollution. Based on the reports we read so far, if hydraulic fracturing will be allowed in Ireland, there is a real danger that chemicals or petroleum products will enter the water at some stage. This will likely contaminate milk and meat. 5.4 Jobs The three most obvious economic areas in which we expect gains from shale gas extraction are employment, gas and revenue. Will shale gas extraction provide enough jobs to offset the potential job losses depending on tourism and agriculture? And equally important, will it provide these jobs to the same people that are now employed in those sectors? The industry promises the prospect of large job creation [2, 22, 38]. In New York, Broome County has issued a report projecting the economic impact of shale gas development. Assuming 2,000 wells, economic impact is estimated at $ 400 million in wages and 8,100 person-years of employment [38]. That means $ 20,000 in wages and 4.05 person-years of employment (or 4 years of work for 1 person) per well. In England, Cuadrilla Resources estimates 40 ten-well pads over 9 years per licence block. They expect to create 5,600 full time equivalent jobs during the 3-year peak period of 2016 to 2019, in a drilling program that runs to 2021 [2]. In Ireland, Tamboran Resources say they will create 700 jobs. The company aim to start with 10 employees, who will get a fully paid training programme [22].31 The jobs will be mainly at well pads, with 3 people continuously employed and 1 subsidiary staff for every 3 pads [22]. They expect to construct over 100 well pads [22]. Based on the Marcellus shale gas development report we can expect 11.53 annual temporary jobs per well. These jobs do not carry over from year to year. They mainly depend on the initial development phases of the project: the exploration and well creation. Many of these jobs are expert industry jobs, which will be carried out by professionals from outside, who will travel with the wellpads. So these jobs are not tied to a particular locality or region over the long run and are not permanent in nature. Employment moves along with development, and workers must be able to frequently relocate in order to take advantage of these opportunities. These transient workers will not provide the same positive effects on the local economy as local workers [38]. A small number of local temporary jobs will also be created during the development stages, in concrete delivery, road building, construction and trucking. These are mostly low-paid jobs. Once production has started at a well, maintenance requires only a few workers. When the wells are in production there will be about 3 permanent jobs per pad [22, 38]. Even these permanent local jobs will only last as long as the wells are productive, a maximum of 7 8 years [21].

To mitigate for the out of state labour force and fluctuating employment pattern the Marcellus shale gas report recommends to: Create an assessment and training program for local workers. In order for local workers to benefit most from shale gas employment opportunities, local and county governments should form a collective partnership with gas companies to provide a training program for community residents during the exploration phase. This will provide local workers with competitive skill sets and assist them in obtaining jobs during the development process. Additionally, this may benefit companies, as it could decrease travel and housing costs. Develop State and Regional post-Marcellus Task Forces. Marcellus operations will continue long into the future, but employment and growth in localities will be dynamic and subject to rapid change. State and county officials should determine the likely effects of sudden changes to community growth, investment, and income at the municipal level. State and local governments must be ready to respond as changes to revenue streams and government services fluctuate during and following the development phase [38].32 5.5 Gas Figures for the expected amount of recoverable gas vary from 10-19 trillion cubic feet (280 530 billion cubic meters) of gas in place (GIP) in a Tamboran presentation to potential investors [67] and We don?t know if there is any gas at all at one of their public information meetings [22]. GIP refers to estimates of unrisked, unproven resource potential, based on parameters derived from existing well data and rock sample descriptions, and general literature, and should be considered as speculative [67]. Richard Moorman of Tamboran also said he expects to find 1 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas [68], or 28 billion cubic meters. No estimates have been provided by LANGCO or Enegi Oil. Irish total gas consumption in 2009 was 4.999 billion cubic meters, of which 92.5% (4.628 billion cubic meters) was imported [69]. This means Tamboran expects to find enough gas to supply all of Ireland?s gas use for 5.6 years. However, this will be from the combined areas in the Republic and Northern Ireland, and is expected to be found over a twenty to thirty year drilling programme. In addition, the second line in the Tamboran presentation is telling: there is a good connection to the UK and Europe, which are high value markets [67]. Ireland can buy the gas at market prices, but if anybody else offers more, it will be exported. In either case, the only benefit Ireland will have from this gas is the tax revenue, the local investments and the few jobs this enterprise generates. So it will not alleviate fuel poverty. There will be a temporary increase in gas produced in Ireland, but this will not make the gas prices any lower, as we still have to buy it back at market prices. It may well be that we?ll still be able to buy gas from Russia cheaper than locally produced gas. It will also not secure our energy supply; because we have to buy it back at market prices in a competitive market. 5.6 Revenue and markets 5.6.1 Local revenue There will be three types of investment from natural gas companies [38], the same as for any other type of company: Direct investment, in natural gas exploration and drilling activities Indirect expenditures, which will provide income for certain professional businesses, like scientific and technical services, real estate and rental, finance and insurance, and manufacturing industries. Induced spending, which will occur in retail sales, health and social services,

transportation and warehousing, and finance and insurance. This is the local economic effect produced through gas drilling. When a company undertakes operations within an area, the company provides payments to the labor force 33 and households, and in turn these workers function as consumers, purchasing goods and services provided in the area [38]. Induced spending will be seen following the waves of well construction and its associated job creation. This induced spending will come in waves too; this wave pattern brings with it its own problems, because local businesses cannot reliably forecast how much profit they can expect and for how long. Gas exploration does not affect every industry in the same manner, or evenly over time. While the construction, wholesale trade, and other heavy labour industries may benefit from increased investment, real estate operators and health and social services providers might find some difficulty in adjusting to consumer demand throughout the labour intensive development phase. Encouraging firms to remain in the community following the development phase may prove crucial in preventing a boom and bust cycle from occurring in the communities. Additionally, large firms with greater resources may be able to take advantage of new market opportunities more quickly than smaller firms, reducing growth and investment prospects for smaller firms [38]. As we have seen in the chapters about tourism and agriculture, these industries too, generate induced spending. They are not as damaging to health and environment, and don?t require as much monitoring and road repair. Plus the job creation from these industries is more local and permanent and less transient. The local revenue generated by gas exploitation will need to be offset against local losses, specifically in the value of land, houses and farms. There will be compensation for local land owners from the company for the use of their land. The land will be leased from the landowner. The lease will last as long as the companies can extract the gas; we?ve seen earlier that most wells last for about 7 years. As the land can not be used for any purpose afterwards, it will be impossible to use or sell the land afterwards. It is important that property owners understand the full extent of the obligations in their leasing agreements [38]. If a company finds the gas, the company will own it. This means the surface owner, who in Ireland does not own the mineral rights on his or her property, is at a disadvantage. By law, they must allow whoever owns the mineral rights (or the lease to those rights) access to the natural gas under the property. Access includes the right to explore for resources on the property, construct roads, pipelines and other drilling facilities, and conduct drilling operations. The protections afforded to surface owners are limited [38]. It used to be that only governments had the right to compulsory purchase order. Since recently, private companies have also got the right to compulsory purchase orders in Ireland. 34 Finally, in areas where shale gas exploration has occurred so far, local house prices dropped as people do not want to live near such developments [38]. 5.6.2 National revenue In addition to the environmental impacts, the financial cost of the potential shale gas exploitation has caused consternation. Currently, Ireland has one of the most attractive tax rates for companies in the world. Companies in Ireland are, in most cases, required to pay only 25% corporation tax [70], a much lower rate than in most other countries with possible shale gas reserves. Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte TD

defended this figure by stating: because the finds in Ireland are small compared to other countries it pays to ask for low levels of tax for it would otherwise not be worth it for them to come here at all as they would not make enough profit [70]. Ireland also does not require companies to pay any royalties to the government on saleable gas. Tamboran, LANGCO and Enegi Oil may be required to pay between five and fifteen per cent, but, even at a higher rate, the gain for the government will be lower than for most other countries in comparable situations. There will be revenue from this project for the government. The revenue from income tax will come in waves following the pattern of the jobs. The tax revenue from the companies will depend on the amount of gas found, and cannot be calculated until the gas is sold [24]. If Tamboran recover 1 trillion cubic feet, the government can expect to receive the Republic?s share of 5.6 years? worth of revenue from that company over 20 or 30 years, and perhaps a similar amount from LANGCO and Enegi Oil. However, in order to raise seed money it is common practice for the oil and gas companies to enhance their figures regarding the amounts of gas or oil they expect to find. This is common practice in a lot of businesses. So the real revenue figures may be lower. The expected tax is 25% of the profits [70], but there are many tax exemptions, one of our team is looking into this. And generally, companies will only keep on operating based on the profits made the previous year [24] (which may also leave local landowners and the government with the cost of cleaning up). Pundits and protestors alike say that the government is effectively giving away a valuable resource, owned by the Irish people, to outside companies, for very little in return.35 6 International financial markets The gas market is evolving because the USA, and other countries, wanted to remove their energy dependence. It has shifted to the shale gas market and has changed the energy landscape. Shale gas enabled the US to remove its energy dependency and to reduce nearly all of its LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) imports. Now these unused imports, combined with the economic downturn, have led to an oversupply of the international LNG market, reducing the price of gas around the world [32]. This has already influenced the European market, before any shale gas has been produced in Europe (this will likely not happen in sufficient quantities before 2020). In Europe, the contractual structure for conventional gas was based upon long-term natural gas contracts, in which the price of gas was linked to that of oil. These contracts are now being renegotiated. Consequently, shale gas is having an increasing influence on European gas prices and is anticipated to continue doing so until at least 2015 [32]. Some petroleum geologists are now saying that USA shale gas, because the wells deplete so quickly, will supply the USA only about another seven years. This will then change our markets again. The economic viability of hydraulic fracturing is being questioned or carefully stated even by the Industry itself. In one study from 2007 by Michael Godec [71] the viability of unconventional gas exploitation is questioned. In order to maintain the often marginal productivity, resource technology progress using an industry/government partnership is needed. Meaning governments are looking into whether to subsidise unconventional gas exploitation in some form in the USA at his stage already. Public data from the Producers were used to establish a model for unconventional gas supply (MUGS) in which only 27 out of 94 distinct unconventional gas plays are economically viable and 21 only marginally viable [71]. Meaning that nearly half of

unconventional gas plays are not economically viable. Part of the problem is the rising costs, which depend on the location, depth of drilling and material needed. The costs vary from $830,000 to over $10 million per well [71]. More and more data seem to indicate a trend of rising unit costs of exploiting shales in the long-term, due to factors that will prevent further cost reductions or lead to cost increases, and due to declining well productivity over time [24]. Some companies are looking for Fit for Purpose equipment to reduce cost, but this would also reduce the amount of people employed. Overall the efficiency rate has slowed in recent years because it has reached its practical limits [71]. The main contributors to the cost are drilling rigs (up to 25%), the high pressure pumping service (up to 60%) and tubulars (up to 15%) [71]. These prices are dependent on steel prices. The scarcity of sand also increases costs.36 Another major cost is the waste water treatment using reverse osmosis and, more recently, electrodialysis from a concentrated saline solution. This basically means concentrating the saline water even more. The water is disposed of at the surface (where no care is taken of chemicals included in the fracking solution) and the saline water injected back into the ground. The consequences for cement damage, change in mineral composition (salt substances can react with minerals) and diffusion into other layers possibly penetrating into groundwater are not looked at. This means that by treating the waste water to dispose of it in a correct manner would bring the viability of unconventional gas into a deficit, as is stated in a report by the U.S. Department of Environment in 2002. One way out of these costs would be the transport to aquifers, which does not comply with EU regulations to protect water. Even people from the industry mistrust what seems to be a bubble that is going to burst sooner or later. This was stated in leaked emails between company officials, public representatives and contractors. The New York Times [72] summarises some: Many of these e-mails also suggest a view that is in stark contrast to more bullish public comments made by the industry, in much the same way that insiders have raised doubts about previous financial bubbles. Money is pouring in from investors even though shale gas is inherently unprofitable, an analyst from PNC Wealth Management, an investment company, wrote to a contractor in a February e-mail. Reminds you of dot-coms. The word in the world of independents is that the shale plays are just giant Ponzi schemes and the economics just do not work, an analyst from IHS Drilling Data, an energy research company, wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 28, 2009 [72] In one of the emails exchanged between a geologist from Chesapeake and a federal energy official, the geologist says the shale gas is declining rapidly. He also says that most wells in shale are not profitable just now and the industry waits for the gas price to rise. This is significant, according to the New York Times, because the companies claim costs below the market price. According to the geologist they just about break even [72]. The Times notes, that if the industry does not live up to expectations, the impact will be felt widely. Federal and state lawmakers are considering drastically increasing subsidies for the natural gas business in the hope that it will provide low-cost energy for decades to come. But if natural gas ultimately proves more expensive to extract from the ground than has been predicted, landowners, investors and lenders could see their investments falter, while consumers will pay a price in higher electricity and home heating bills [72]. The shale gas extraction process will most likely mainly enrich a few speculators. As

pointed out in a recent French article [73], experts in gas exploitation say that the 37 exploitation of shale gas will not be as economical as officially estimated. [American] producers intentionally, and thus illegally, over-estimated the productivity of wells and the magnitude of reserves. This is likely to happen in Ireland as well. Attention is also drawn to a blind speculation on shale gas that could lead to a financial bubble such as that for internet stocks, or that which sank Enron [73]. Or indeed, that which collapsed the Irish housing market. In other words, the industry has no value other than the money brought into it by investors [73]. This idea is reinforced by a fact sheet published by Enegi Oil, which states: Our objective is to create value for shareholders through capital growth. We plan to achieve this through developing a portfolio of oil and gas assets ranging from exploration through appraisal, development and production, but which is weighted towards appraisal and development [74]. Ireland has just gone through a boom-bust phase, partly due to financial markets. We still do not know the cost to our society. We still don?t know the cost of bail-outs. But also the cost in terms of loss of services (healthcare being the most worrying one), and the cost in terms of stress and poverty caused to individuals. European gas production has been in steep decline for several years and is expected to decline by another 30% or more until 2035. Meanwhile, European demand is expected to rise further until 2035. Imports of natural gas will unavoidably increase further if these trends become a reality. It is by no means guaranteed that additional imports in the order of 100 billion m 3 per year can be realised [18]. However, the resources for unconventional gas in Europe are too small to have any substantial influence on these trends. This holds even more as the typical production profiles will allow extracting only a limited share of these resources. Environmental obligations will also increase project costs and delay their development. This will reduce the potential contribution further [18]. Even an aggressive development of gas shales in Europe could only contribute a onedigit percentage share to the European gas supplies at best. It will not reverse the continuing trend of declining domestic production and rising import dependency [16]. The justification that it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions are seldom used to promote shale gas development. On the contrary, it is very likely that investments in shale gas projects - if at all - might have short-lived impacts on gas supply that could be counterproductive. It would take investment away from the development of renewable energy methods [16], by giving the impression of an ensured gas supply. This would come at a time when consumers should be reducing the dependency on fossil fuels by saving, efficiency measures and substitution [18].38 7 Regulation There is no Irish or European regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Existing mining laws in Europe and related regulations affecting mining activities do not take care of the specific aspects of hydraulic fracturing. There are major differences between mining related regulations in European Member States. In many cases, mining rights are privileged over citizens? rights, and local political authorities often do not have an influence on possible projects or mining sites as these are granted by national or state governments and their authorities [18]. In Ireland the regulations in force for conventional offshore gas and oil exploitation apply [75], but hydraulic fracturing uses a very different process and is carried out onshore.

Moreover, there are many gaps in the regulatory framework that does exist. Companies using chemical substances in activities such as hydraulic fracturing are required to notify the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), if chemical substances they intend to use are not covered by the registration dossier as regards this specific use. Many of the chemicals used in fracking are not registered for use in fracking under the EU Regulation on the Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals (REACH) [1, 32, 76]. At the request of the EU Commission, ECHA is currently reviewing registration dossiers submitted for a series of chemicals which, according to information from the USA, are generally used in hydraulic fracturing, in order to identify whether these dossiers mention their use in hydraulic fracturing and to assess the risk management recommendations proposed by the registrant(s) for such uses [1]. This shows that currently there are gaps in the regulations for the use of chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing process. Companies generally don?t disclose what chemicals they use, because the composition of fracking fluid is protected by intellectual property laws [38]. The result of this is that we can not know which chemicals the companies are going to use. Thus there are no ways of prohibiting them from using these chemicals, and it is impossible to know what to test for. It is then impossible to know what damage can be caused. The Commission for Energy Regulation (CER) is currently setting up a new framework covering the safety of individuals and property in case of major accidents in the oil and gas industry [77]. However, most accidents involving hydraulic fracturing are minor persistent accidents that damage the environment, and act cumulatively. These are not covered by the CER, but can be investigated by the Environmental Protection Agency, after they have occurred when it is too late. Likewise, breaches of the Water Framework Directive, our main defence against water pollution, can only be seen after the fact. Many of the reports we read stress that even if regulations are in place, they are useless if they are not enforced. Most government agencies are unable to enforce even existing regulations, due to lack of resources [16, 24, 45, 58]. 39 In England, there is also confusion about how the Cuadrilla operation will be overseen. Donald Dobson, HSE's head of discipline, well engineering, says in a letter to former oil and gas engineer Mike Hill, that it is financially impossible to check each well. "Verification of an individual well is not the role of the HSE. The resource implications would be immense. There are many departments responsible for air, water and ground pollution, like the Inland Fisheries, Parks and Wildlife, Environment, Heritage and Local Government. In Ireland, do we have the resources to put this extra burden on these departments and government bodies? Or to check each individual well? The industry already hires its own company to do its environmental impact study. This study is then submitted to the government. Can we safely leave the industry to regulate itself? 8 Conclusions This report clearly shows there are many risks arising from hydraulic fracturing. As yet there are no proper laws in place to protect our environment and health. Even if they would be in place, the sheer size, the impact on the landscape and the amount of traffic needed, will destroy so much countryside that tourism in those areas that account for most of the tourism in Ireland will be badly affected. There will be some loss of agriculture. And in a worst-case scenario, in the case of contaminated meat or milk, agriculture could suffer significantly. The potential job losses in of these two areas will be much more than the possible jobs

gained from hydraulic fracturing. So our only benefits would be tax revenue and induced spending. It remains to be seen if this would be more than the revenue received from tourism and agriculture. The European Commission [78] points at the following problems that need to be resolved before drilling can commence in Europe: The complexity of the exploration and extraction processes The novelty of the technological combination used The scale of the operations required The limited experience in the EU The limited data available, essentially based on North-American experience with different conditions. The very strong information asymmetry. This last point is particularly important in Ireland, because: We do not know the precise geology and therefore the risk of groundwater contamination and the long term effects of the several aspects of the fracturing process We do not have a complete list of chemicals used by the industry. Therefore we can not know the effects hydraulic fracturing will have on the environment, animal and human health in connection with the use of chemicals. We have not studied the effect hydraulic fracturing will have on the water table40 We have not studied the chance of waste water entering the surface water and groundwater We have not studied the risks of methane entering the water and air We have not studied the risk of chemicals entering the water and air We have not studied the risks of earthquakes as a result of fracturing We do not know the amount of gas that will be extracted We do not know the financial consequences We do know this process produces more greenhouse gas emissions We will have to study the laws and directives to see if they adequately protect our health and environment. In short, our knowledge base must be improved and information be shared among all concerned parties [78] Because of this lack of knowledge and the gaps in the regulation, we could end up with: Having to clean up our water A risk to our health from water and air pollution and stress Paying fines for breaching directives Paying fines for greenhouse gas emissions Losing a large amount of tourism Possibly losing part of agriculture Damage to rare, scarce and legally protected habitats and species Devaluation of houses, farms and farmlands Even in Europe, let alone within Ireland, the total supply of unconventional gas will be too small to have an influence on the following trends for more than a few years: Gas production in Europe has declined in the last years and is expected to decline further. Demand is expected to rise [18]. The little it will add will only buy us a little bit of time before fossil fuels run out and we have to look at alternatives: savings

efficiency substitution In the meantime it will have added even more greenhouse gas emissions, making global warming an even bigger problem and leaving us with the real costs of the associated floods, draughts and hurricanes. We are already paying on a worldwide scale for this, with rising food prices and high insurance and costs to the governments for natural disasters. We need to stop developing more fossil fuels and replace them with sustainable energy sources like wind and wave energy. Unfortunately, fracking could divert investment away from these renewable energy methods [16].41 Even if we use shale gas instead of imported gas, this imported gas will be used somewhere else. This will result in a global increase in emissions, at a time when emissions need to be reduced worldwide. And finally, there is the question: who will clean up after the companies have left Ireland, taking their profits with them? 9 Recommendations So in conclusion, our recommendation is that, before giving out any licences, the government should thoroughly investigate the effects that shale gas fracking will have on all aspects of the environment, the economy and our health, and put legislation in place to prevent any deterioration. This is in line with recommendations from other European reports [18, 24]. They also stress that the government should share the results of this research with the rest of the population, to avoid polarization of the issue [1, 18, 24, 43]. If we do decide to go ahead with shale-gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing in Ireland, there should be a mandatory Life Cycle Analysis of new projects including an Environmental Impact Analysis. Only a full cost/benefit analysis provides a proper base for a judgement about the relevance of individual projects and their justification [18]. We have to plan for and mitigate for any health and safety issues that arise from this exploitation. It should be mandatory that scientists collect extensive baseline data on water and air quality prior to exploration and drilling. This baseline sampling would provide the basis for chemical characterization of the shallow ground water and should then be followed with monitoring to evaluate the long-term impact of hydraulic fracturing and gas drilling. The monitoring programs should include diverse chemical and isotopic variables useful for identifying possible contamination. There are several existing water-quality testing programs. This can only be done if the industry is forced by law to fully disclose which chemicals they are going to use. To be prudent it would be best to check each well for water flow and pollution, before any activities take place so we know what is there now, and we can compare this with soil and water samples after hydraulic fracturing has come into an area. If we do not do this it would be impossible to establish if there is a correlation between fracking and changes in soil and water. This would mean measurements before and during the exploitation. However, if measurements turn out to show contamination, it is too late. It seems more prudent to study reports from other countries first to establish the risk potential. Regional authorities should possess the right to exclude sensitive areas (e.g. potable water protection zones, villages, arable land, etc.) from possible hydraulic fracturing activities.42 Moreover, regional authorities should be strengthened in their autonomy to decide

about the banning or licensing of hydraulic fracturing in their territory [18]. A publicly available, comprehensive and detailed analysis of the regulatory framework concerning shale gas extraction should be developed [18]. Shale gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing should not be allowed in Ireland unless it can be shown to provide a measurable improvement over alternatives, with no dangerous side effects. 10 References 1. J Potocnik, GH Oettinger and C Hedegaard, 2011, Letter to the Members of the European Parliament, Brussels, 22 July 2011, ref. Ares(2011)799017-22/07/2011 2. Cuadrilla Resources, 2011, ITRE hearing, 5 October 2011 3. Cuadrilla Resources Holdings Limited, 2011, Shale Gas Inquiry, Energy and Climate Change Committee, Written Evidence from Cuadrilla Resources Holdings Limited 13 January 2011 4. Battle for fracking public perception lost, says gas industry insider,, accessed 14 September 2011 5. Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, 2010, Onshore Petroleum Licensing over the Northwest Carboniferous Basin and the Clare Basin 6. P McMahon, 2011, Letter to Ms Meg Long, re: Application by Enegi Oil Plc, for an Onshore Licensing Option in the Clare Basin, Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, 11 February 2011, obtained by R Beemster under the Freedom of Information Act, reference FOI/2011/36 7. P McMahon, 2011, Letter to Mr Martin Keeley, re: Application from Lough Allen Natural Gas Company Ltd, for an Onshore Licensing Option in the North Western Carboniferous Basin, Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, 15 February 2011, obtained by R Beemster under the Freedom of Information Act, reference FOI/2011/36 8. P McMahon, 2011, Letter to Dr Robert Anthony Bazley, re: Application from Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd, for an Onshore Licensing Option in the North Western Carboniferous Basin, Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, 15 February 2011, obtained by R Beemster under the Freedom of Information Act, reference FOI/2011/36 9. Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, 2011, Onshore Ireland Licensing Clare Basin 10. Clare Basin Upper Carboniferous Deepwater Sediments 11. Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, 2011, Onshore Ireland Licensing Northwest Carboniferous Basin 12. Petroleum Licence, Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd, PL2/10 (Lough Allen Basin North), Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Northern Ireland, 1 April 2011, 13. Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, 2011, Petroleum Licences in Northern Ireland, June 2011 14. (accessed 2 November 2011) 15. CV MacDermot, CB Long and SJ Harney, 1996, Geology of Sligo-Leitrim, Geological Survey of Ireland, Dublin 16. C Stanley-Smith, 2011, The environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing as against other methods of gas extraction, Presentation to the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht, An Taisce, Dublin. 17. Groundwater Protection Council Oklahoma City and ALL Consulting Tulsa, 2009, Modern shale gas development in the US, A primer, US Department of

Energy, Office of Fossil Energy, National Energy Laboratory. 18. S. Lechtenbhmer, M Altmann, S Capito, Z Matra, W Weindrorf, W Zittel, 2011, Impacts of shale gas and shale oil extraction on the environment and on human health, IP/A/ENVI/ST/2011-07, Directorate General for Internal Policies, Policy Department A: economic and Scientific Policy, European Parliament, Brussels. 19. Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2010, Onshore Oil & Gas Licensing, Strategic Environmental Assessment for a 14th and Subsequent Onshore Oil & Gas Licensing Rounds, Environmental Report, Department of Energy and Climate Change, London. 20. email R Moorman to R Beemster, received 2 November 2011 21. R Wood, P Gilbert, M Sharmina, K Anderson, A Footitt, S Glynn, F Nicholls, 2011, Shale gas: a provisional assessment of climate change and environmental impacts, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester. 22. R Moorman, 2011, statement made during Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd Community Information Meeting, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim 7 September 2011 23. A McLoughlin, 2011, Shale Gas Extraction, The Next Boom?, Presentation given in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, 17 October 2011 44 24. F Gny, 2010, Can Unconvenntional Gas be a Game Changer in European Gas Markets? The Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, University of Oxford. 25. R Meyer, Das Gas und das Beben (The gas and the earthquake), dataid=55858&page=1&searchValue=erdbeben+exxon 26. British Geological Survey, 2001, Blackpool earthquake | Magnitude 1.5 | 27 May 2011 27. T Dahm, F Krger, K Stammler, K Klinge, R Kind, K Wylegalla and J-R Grasso, 2007, The 2004 Mw 4.4 Rotenburg, Northern Germany, Earthquake and Its Possible Relationship with Gas Recovery, Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 28. 29., 2011, Fracking 'probable' cause of Lancashire quakes, 2 November 2011, 30. DIRECTIVE 2000/60/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy 22.12.2000 L 327/1, Official Journal of the European Communities 31. European Communities (Water Policy) Regulations 2003 32. Oireachtas Library and Research Service, 2011, Shale gas drilling in the Northwest Carboniferous (Lough Allen) and Clare Basins and the context to the technology known as fracking?, Briefing Paper for the Committee on Environment, Transport, Culture and the Gaeltacht, 12681 Houses of the Oireachtas, Dublin. 33. Water Matters: Our Plan! Shannon River Basin Management Plan (2009-2015) 34. Final River Basin Management Plan for the Western River Basin District in Ireland (2009-2015), December 2009 35. Water matters Our plan! North Western International River Basin Management Plan (2009-2015) 36. K Sheridan, 2011, Down the drain: what?[s going wrong with Ireland?s water supply, The Irish Times Weekend Review, 5 November 2011 37. Stadtwerke Steinfurt, 2010, Presentation on water abstraction, Germany. 2545

38. RH Nelson, 2010, Marcellus shale gas development: Reconciling shale gas development with environmental protection, landowner rights, and local community needs, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland 39. RB Jackson, B Rainey Pearson, SG Osborn, NR Warner, A Vengosh, 2011 Research and policy recommendations for hydraulic fracturing and shale gas extraction, Center on Global Change, Duke University, Durham, NC. 40. D McCarney, 2011, Tamboran's claims of chemical free frack fluid challenged by expert,The Anglo-Celt, 10 August, 2011 41. email from A Ingraffea to R Beemster, received 10 September 2011 42. M Lloyd-Smith and R Senjen, 2011, Briefing Paper: Hydraulic Fracturing in Coal Seam Gas Mining: The Risks to Our Health, Communities, Environment and Climate, National Toxics Network, Bangalow, NSW, Australia, 43. J Deutch (Chair), 2011, The SEAB Shale Gas Production Subcommittee, NinetyDay Report August 11, 2011 Shale Gas Subcommittee of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, USA 44. WJ Rowley, MS Bentham, KL Kirk and J Williams, 2008, Basin-by-basin analysis of CO2 storage potential of all-island Ireland, British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham 45. A Ramudo, S Murphy, 2010, Hydraulic Fracturing Effects on Water Quality CRP 5072, Cornell University City and Regional Planning, New York. 46. L Legere, 2011, DEP inspections show more shale well cement problems, The 33 47. S Pistre, 2011, Shale gaz, environnemental challenges to preserve water resource, Presentation given in Brussels, 4 October 2011 48. E Campbell and B Foy (Eds), 2008, Executive summary of Lough Melvin catchment management plan, Northern Regional fisheries Board, Ballyshannon 49. A Driver, 2011, Dangers of fracking sand, Reuters, Houston, 21 September, 2011 50. A Voge, 2011, Wabasha County puts moratorium on frac sand mines The Winona Daily News, 4 August 2011, 51. R W Howarth, R Santoro, A Ingraffea, 2007, Methane and the greenhouse-gas footprint of natural gas from shale formations, A letter, Climatic Change, DOI 10.1007/s10584-011-0061-546 52. JD Hughes, 2011, Lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions from shale gas compared to coal: an analysis of two conflicting studies, Post Carbon Institute, Santa Rosa, California, USA 53. J Nelson, 2011, Fracking the world, New Internationalist, p. 24-25, May 2011 54. Environmental Protection Agency, 2005, Ireland?s Greenhouse Gas Emissions, provisional estimate for 2005, 55. Environmental Resources Management, In Association with Byrne Clirigh, Dublin & Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin, 1998 , Limitation and Reduction of CO2 and Other Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Ireland, The Stationery Office, Dublin. 56. Environmental Protection Agency, 2011, Emissions Inventories and Projections, 57. 58. R Lawson, W Ramsay, JR Lyman, M Carstei, 2011, European unconventional Gas Developments, Environmental Issues and Regulatory Challenges in the EU

and the U.S., Atlantic Council and Institut Franais des Relations Internationales 59. Marcellus Shale Gas Basin Producers, 2009, Reducing methane emissions from production wells: Reduced emission completions, IOGCC Marcellus Shale Gas Basin Producers Technology Transfer Workshop, 60. D Robinson, 2010, Reducing venting from well completions, workovers and liquids unloading, Seminar with Russian Oil and Gas Producers on Methane Mitigation Technologies and Strategies, Moscow, 4 October 2010 61. R Wood, P Gilbert, M Sharmina, K Anderson, A Footitt, S Glynn, F Nicholls, 2011, Shale gas: a provisional assessment of climate change and environmental impacts, Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, University of Manchester. Figures adapted to a 12-acre 16-well pad by R Beemster 62. Filte Ireland, 2008, Tourism Facts 2008, 63. Filte Ireland, 2011, Tourism Facts 2010, preliminary version 5.0, 64. Filte Ireland, 2010, Domestic Tourism 2009, 65. Irish Farmer?s Association, August 2011, Measures to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of Irish agriculture through land mobility and structural change, IFA Proposals to Government. 47 66. Irish Farmer?s Association, 2011, The importance of agriculture and the food industry to the Irish Economy 67. P Elliott, D Falvey and R Moorman, (undated), Seed Capital RaisingTamboran ResourcesPty Ltd, Global Unconventional Oil and Gas Exploration and Development, Powerpoint presentation, 68. R Moorman, 2011, statement made to R Beemster after Tamboran Resources Pty Ltd Community Information Meeting, Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan, 14 September 2011 69. CIA report, 70. P Rabbitte , 2011, Oil firms will shun us if we have Norwegian-style taxes, The Irish Times, August 18, 2011, 71. M Godec, T Van Leeuwen and V Kuuskraa, 2011, Economics of unconventional gas, OGJ Unconventional Gas Article #5, Advanced Resources International, Arlington, Virginia, %20Economics%207 _24_07.pdf&ei=-1O-TriGJ8KIhQe-3aGkBA&usg= 72. 73. M-N Bertrand, 2011, March du gaz: le schiste risque de faire des bulles translated as: The Market for Natural Gas: Shale Gas Risks Making a Bubble, by Henry Crapo, 74. A Minty, B Rajgopaul and A Lamb, 2011, June 2011 Fact Sheet, 75. P McMahon, 2011, letter to R Beemster, re: Freedom of Information Request, FOI/2011/36, Department of Communication, Energy and Natural Resources, 19 October 2011 76. Regulation 1907/2006 REACH 54 77. Consultation Paper on the High Level Design of the Petroleum Safety Framework (CER11/137), Commission for Energy Regulation, 2011, Dublin, 78. J-A Vinois and M Rosenstock, 2011, EU Commission: State of play of actions taken, Directorate General for Energy, European Commission, ITRE hearing, 5 October 2011