Wie lassen sich die wirtschaftlichen und volkswirtschaftlichen Chancen von Hydraulic Fracturing als unkonventionelle Fördermethode von Erdgas im Rahmen der Energiewende bewerten?

Hurnaus, Thomas Andreas (2020) Wie lassen sich die wirtschaftlichen und volkswirtschaftlichen Chancen von Hydraulic Fracturing als unkonventionelle Fördermethode von Erdgas im Rahmen der Energiewende bewerten? DBA thesis, Middlesex University / KMU Akademie & Management AG. [Thesis]

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Abstract

Generally, it can be concluded that natural gas prices will stay constant or decrease slightly within the “Energiewende”. Nevertheless, factors such as geopolitical tensions or increased resistance to fracking in the US may have an influence. In the case of such an event, natural gas prices may also increase sharply.

According to current knowledge, the Posidonia Shale would be most suitable for an unconventional shale gas production using Hydraulic Fracturing (also known as fracking) in Germany. However, additional test drillings are required to determine further important parameters, such as the acid resistance of the formation. Multiple measures to reduce the risk of hydraulic fracturing were developed within this work. For example, the use of frac fluids based on slickwater. Considering the required measures, experts estimate costs of 8 to 15 million euros per unconventional shale gas well. The annual operating costs were assessed to be within 7 to 11 million euros per well site. Furthermore, the productivity of the Posidonia Shale was estimated within this thesis. By analyzing this data (investment and operation costs, natural gas price and productivity) with the net present value method, it could be concluded that an unconventional shale gas production in Germany is highly economical if the natural gas price is constantly increasing within the “Energiewende”. By contrast, if the natural gas prices are staying constant or decreasing, the project would be unprofitable. In such a case, it could only be profitable if strong synergy effects would significantly lower investment and operations costs. However, in Germany, the presence of shale formations is limited so that such synergy effects can only be realized if the unconventional shale gas production is extended into Europe. Alternatively, the high productivity of the Posidonia Shale can also contribute to profitable shale gas production. Based on the limited data, such an assumption would be very risky and needs to be confirmed by checking with the first shale gas wells in Germany.

Next, the effect on the national economy was studied. For this reason, 22 opportunities and risks linked to hydraulic fracturing were evaluated. Thereby, a value in use of - 1.77 was determined confirming that also for the national economy the unconventional shale gas production using fracking is not feasible. The negative value in use predominantly arises from the fact that the benefit to the community is too low to compensate for the negative effect of hydraulic fracturing on the well-being of humans.

Thus, it can be concluded that an unconventional shale gas production in Germany only makes sense if the natural gas price is constantly increasing, and the perceptions of people regarding fracking are improving. People need to be more open-minded towards the method and should be confident that everything is under control when small incidents occur. According to the experts, this can only be achieved if people are well informed about the technology and measures to guarantee a high safety level. This process can be supported if the number of incidents linked to fracking in the US further decreases.

At this point, the question arises as to whether there are feasible alternatives to the unconventional shale gas production available. Many experts suggest the further development of renewable energy, geothermal power and hydrogen energy. However, with regard to power production based on hydrogen, further research is required to achieve this kind of energy in stable, inexpensive and high volumes.

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Research Areas: A. > Business School
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > KMU Akademie and Management AG
Item ID: 32252
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2021 16:25
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:49
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/32252

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