This paper summarises the findings of a regional study to assess the shale gas potential of selected countries in Europe, North Africa and the Near East. There has been, over the past two decades, much publicity on the shale gas revolution underway in the United States. The geology of much of Europe and North Africa is more complex and compartmentalized than that of the United States, however there are organic rich shale bearing formations present which provide the source for many of the conventional hydrocarbon accumulations across Europe and North Africa, and which could potentially provide an important gas resource. The most attractive shale bearing Formations, as in North America, tend to be Palaeozoic in age, and the most attractive of these are the Silurian shales that cover the area of interest. Locations with the highest potential include not only countries such as Poland, where shale gas exploitation is rapidly gaining momentum, but less obvious places such as Morocco and Jordan, which have significant gas demand, limited conventional resources, and favourable fiscal regimes. The paper provides both a regional overview and an individual assessment of the shale gas potential in a number of selected countries.


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