According to experts, Germany could be supplied with the natural gas that lies beneath Germany in the shale rock for decades. In view of the high energy prices, they call for a rethink.

In view of the high energy prices, experts are calling for natural gas to be extracted in Germany using fracking technology.

“As long as we need natural gas in Germany, it’s – to put it mildly – a prank that we don’t produce it here,” said Hans-Joachim Kümpel, ex-president of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, the “Welt am Sonntag”. According to this, there are up to 2.3 trillion cubic meters of natural gas under Germany in the shale rock – enough to supply the country with natural gas for decades, said Kümpel.

In Germany, the production of 20 billion cubic meters per year through fracking is possible for decades to come. This corresponds to about half of the current natural gas deliveries from Russia. This means that dependency on imports can be “significantly reduced”.

Fracking uses pressure and chemicals to extract gas or oil from rock layers, which poses environmental hazards. Criticism is also leveled at liquefaction through strong cooling because, according to environmentalists, this costs up to 25 percent of the energy content of the gas.

Habeck rejects fracking

Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) is trying to achieve rapid energy independence from Russia in view of the Ukraine war. However, he rejects fracking in Germany and points to possible negative consequences for the environment and legal hurdles. Most recently, CSU boss Markus Söder and NRW Economics Minister Andreas Pinkwart (FDP) and the head of the German Economic Institute (IW), Michael Hüther, called for an open-ended examination of fracking.

Expert Mohammed Amro from the Bergakademie Freiberg told the “Welt am Sonntag” that if the ban on fracking were lifted, shale gas production could begin in Germany within a year. In five years, the production rate could be increased to such an extent that Germany could cover a fifth of its natural gas requirements with domestic fracking gas. “Not to frack in Germany is a serious mistake,” said Werner Ressing, former department head in the Federal Ministry of Economics.