German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned her nation to weigh the pros and cons of shale drilling in a statement provided earlier today.
According to a Reuters article published earlier this morning, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the Straubinger Tagblatt newspaper that Germany should tread carefully when dealing with the nation’s shale reserves.
"New deposits of gas could very probably be tapped in Germany with this technology but in contrast to the United States, we live in a very densely populated country," Merkel told the Straubinger Tagblatt.
Merkel’s statement comes less than a month after influential industry lobby group BDI chief Ulrich Grillo warned that, "If we immediately reject this, we will end up as international laggards.” In a country where over 25 percent of the economy is dominated by manufacturing, lobbying groups such as BDI can be highly influential.
As the United States continues to uncover the economic benefits of its shale reserves, Europe has been hesitant to begin drilling. Countries like Germany, France, and the Netherlands have remained weary due to the potential environmental hazards shale drilling can create, while countries like Turkey and Poland are eager to uncover their natural gas reserves and the jobs it can create.
Germany's BGR Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resources has said 0.7 trillion to 2.3 trillion cubic meters of shale gas could be extracted from beneath German soil with most of the shale located in north-western Germany.
Germany produces only 14 percent of the gas it consumes, leaving room for shale natural gas to boost the nation’s reserves and drive gas prices down.
"We must look carefully at whether this technology can be used here. For me the most important thing is that there is no danger for people and the environment," Merkel told the Straubinger Tagblatt, as the debate continues across Europe.