Security of energy supply is critical to the world economy. The hydrocarbons (oil, gas, coal) are the most important commodity for international trade and are high on the political and social agenda. Despite ever increasing energy consumption, geologists have always found sufficient new resources for us to enjoy our high standard of living. New exploration methods and a better understanding of the geological processes have resulted in location of deep seated, relatively small or difficult to find new reserves all over of the world.

However, energy is a commodity we cannot take for granted. Fossil fuel is becoming a scarce raw material in the European Union. Energy trade is becoming a stock market business. In order to keep energy affordable, new opportunities need to be developed. Geothermal energy is available everywhere and can be developed at any scale, household or industrial.

In this framework EuroGeoSurveys has set up GeoEnergy Expert Group (EGS GEEG) generated as a response to a request from EU DG ENER. The request was originally formed as a demand for an impartial mapping and resource evaluation of the EU coal.

The EGS GEEG provides impartial, scientifically robust information to advance the understanding of fossil fuel energy and geothermal energy (geoenergy) resources in Europe, to contribute to plans for a secure energy future, to facilitate evaluation and responsible use of energy resources, and to analyse future geoenergy resources of Europe and possibilities of their sustainable use. Geoenergy information provided by EGS GEEG is based on public available and accessible information and data, which are of globally comparable standards of excellence for science and expertise.

The task force has started a pilot study on a study of gas potential of the Lower Paleozoic shales in the Baltic Basin together with USGS. It includes on- and offshore areas in the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kaliningrad (Russian enclave), Poland and Germany. The main reason for such a corporation is that while the European geological surveys has the data and knowledge on the specific shale stratigraphy, sedimentology, and petrography etc., USGS has built up, through their work in the US, a vast experience in assessing the shale gas potential.

The overall goal with this pilot study is to develop the pilot into a study that covers the entire Europe, financed by the Horizon 2020.

Gudmundur Steingrímsson Blowing borholes in the geothermal field Hellisheidi Southwest Iceland