Shale Gas Research


ReFINE is the leading independent research consortium on fracking, led jointly by Newcastle University and Durham University. The academics involved focus on researching the issue of shale gas and oil exploitation using fracking methods and their potential risks.

Timeline of Work:

Shale Gas Research Timeline


ReFINE is also carrying out research on a number of the important social impacts related to the potentially widespread exploitation of gas or oil-rich shales across Europe.

Latest Publication

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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.”


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