Review of results and recommendations. Delivery T8 of the EUOGA study (EU Unconventional Oil and Gas Assessment) commissioned by JRC-IET

Niels H. Schovsbo, Hans Doornenbal, Susanne Nelskamp, Christian B. Pedersen, Lisbeth Tougaard, Mart Zijp, Karen L. Anthonsen

Research output: Book/ReportReport (publicly available)


Within the European wide EUOGA project 82 hydrocarbon bearing shale formations within 21 countries were assessed for their unconventional resource potential. A stochastic volumetric assessment could be carried out for 49 formations, 15 of which are concluded to hold both shale gas and shale oil, 26 only gas and 8 only oil. The total resource estimation for all assessed shale formations in all countries combined amounts to 89.23 tcm of gas and 31.4 billion barrels of oil in place.

The National Geological Surveys (NGS) participating in the EUOGA project provided all public data and information available from their respective countries, using a common description template developed by the EUOGA project team members. Gathered data for each shale formation are stored in an ESRI file geodatabase. The description also includes a full bibliographic reference database with more than 240 references comprising the current state of the art of scientific research of European shale gas and oil.

The EUOGA project has shown that many European shale formations are very sparsely covered by well data or seismic survey data. This situation specifically exists in regions with little exploration activities and low levels of (conventional) hydrocarbon development, but there are also circumstances where the data are available yet inaccessible due to confidentiality restrictions. The lack of data reduces the hydrocarbon assessment precision and the resulting uncertainties in areal extent and thickness have a profound impact on the volume determination. In addition to this the saturation and porosity are the major uncertainties for determining the free gas and oil volumes. These parameters tend to vary significantly within a shale formation (i.e. both depending location-specific conditions).

To reduce the uncertainty of the European unconventional hydrocarbon potential it is recommended to systematise the desired work in constructing of research consortia among NGS and centres of excellence within their specific areas of competences. Such research may ultimate refine, enhance or complete the resource assessments carried out.

The results of the EUOGA project are:

- A common pan-European assessment methodology
- A compilation of the current status of the exploration and development of shale gas and shale oil in Europe
- A geological resource analysis including a compilation of geological maps and
characteristics of prospective European gas- and oil bearing shales
- A quantitative resource estimation of prospective shale gas and shale oil resources in Europe based on a common assessment methodology
- A report on the results including recommendations for future work (this report)
- A web-based interactive database and map application
Original languageEnglish
PublisherThe European Commission
Number of pages71
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Programme Area

  • Programme Area 3: Energy Resources


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