Award of licences
In 2012 a temporary stop was placed on issuing new licences for exploration and production where shale gas is the exploration target. The temporary stop was introduced to investigate the possibilities of promoting safe and environmentally sound production of shale gas. Therefore, licences for shale gas exploration and production cannot be granted at present.
Based on the results of an impending evaluation, a decision is to be made on the temporary stop to issue new licences for exploration and production of shale gas in Denmark.
The Vendsyssel-1 well
On 5 June 2010, the Minister for Climate and Energy issued licence 1/10 , which covered an area in North Jutland. Total E&P Denmark B.V. was the operator and held a share of 80 per cent, while Nordsøfonden held a 20 per cent share.
Total E&P drilled the exploration well Vendsyssel-1 in North Jutland in 2015 and subsequently proceeded to plug and abandon the well. Vendsyssel-1 demonstrated the presence of gas in the alum shale, but the formation containing gas was not as thick as expected. The licence was relinquished in June 2016.
Scientific analysis of shale gas
A national scientific analysis of shale gas, launched by the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and prepared by DTU, DCE and GEUS, was published at the beginning of 2016.
The main focus of the analysis was to elucidate the possible environmental impact of shale gas activities in a Danish context and to clarify the extent to which existing knowledge about preventing a possible negative environmental impact can be applied to Danish conditions.
An overall evaluation was initiated in June 2016. The evaluation will amongst other be based on the experience gained from the well in North Jutland and the national scientific analysis of shale gas. Once the evaluation is completed, the decision on the temporary stop to issue new licences for exploration and production of shale gas in Denmark will be reviewed.