Shale Gas Research


ReFINE is an independent research consortium led jointly by Newcastle University and Durham Energy Institute. The consortium focuses on researching the issue of shale gas and oil exploitation using fracking methods and its potential risks.

Timeline of Work:

Shale Gas Research Timeline


Over a two year period ReFINE will carry out scientific research, with the recognition that there are many important social impacts related to the potentially widespread exploitation of gas- or oil-rich shales across Europe.

Latest Publication

NORM thumbnail

On 24th June 2014 ReFINE published a study into the radioactivity of fracking flowback water in the journal Environmental Science and Pollution Research. The paper, entitled "The Flux of Radionuclides in Flowback Fluid from Shale Gas Exploitation" is available for free download.

Download Paper


Latest News

The New York Times
16 September 2014

Prof. Richard Davies is quoted in the New York Times discussing the recent US study that links well integrity, rather than fracking itself, to water contamination issues. The study's conclusions are similar to those published by ReFINE scientists in March 2014 in the paper "Oil and Gas Wells and Their Integrity: Implications for Shale and Unconventional Resource Exploitation." In response to the study, Prof. Davies said, "It is good to know which parts of the fracking process are the ones we need to worry about. It’s unlikely to be the fracking itself. It’s more likely to be poor well construction.”

The Telegraph
15 September 2014

The Telegraph discusses a recent US study examining the link between shale gas and water contamination. The study identifies well integrity issues rather than hydraulic fractures to be the most likely cause of groundwater contamination in shale gas regions. Asked about the study's implications, ReFINE scientist Prof. Richard Davies said, "Shale gas requires a lot of wells to be drilled; more wells to produce the same volume of gas from shale as from a conventional reservoir. That’s why well integrity is critical."

The Irish News
13 August 2014

ReFINE scientist Prof. Richard Davies is interviewed by The Irish News in response to protests over exploratory drilling in Fermanagh. On the issue of potential water contamination, Prof. Davies said, "One of the big learning points from the US is that you need to understand the level of contamination before any drilling or fracking takes place. Baseline surveys are seen as good practice and it provides confidence as to whether your activity has caused damage to the environment."


 kimmeridge bottom 1

         About ReFINE      -      How We Work      -      Research      -      People      -      Media      -      Contact Us      -      Site Map