Fracking and the Future of Unconventional Gas and Oil Resources

Another lecture in the “Energy Talks”  series took place on March 31 at the Amerika Haus. The lecture, “The Future of Fracking and Unconventional Gas And Oil Resources” was held by Lee A. Brudvig of US Embassy in Vienna and was moderated by Dr. Samuel Schubert, Head of the International Relations Department of Webster University. The event, co-hosted by Webster University, the Information Office of the European Parliament in Austria, the Representation of the European Commission in Austria, the Diplomatic Academy Vienna and the Institute for Advanced Studies, brought together students, experts from academia and general public.

Mr. Brudvig referred to the hydraulic fracturing as the most economically viable method for oil and gas extraction using the example of the rise in U.S. oil and gas production in recent years. Among the factors that allowed such technological advancement are access to data, expertise, water availability, infrastructure, fiscal and regulatory framework as well as appropriate markets. As well as its advantages, Lee A. Brudvig acknowledged the existence of certain risks connected to the unconventional oil and gas production.  However, he stressed that the downsides could be mitigated by the “prudent regulations and adoption of best practices”. To conclude, Brudvig underlined that “fracking and unconventional gas is neither a panacea nor a demon and the U.S. energy self-sufficiency will not cause the government to retreat from global commitments”.