About ReFINE

ReFINE is the leading international research consortium on fracking. Based in the UK and led jointly by Newcastle and Durham Universities, ReFINE works closely with a global network of leading scientists and institutions to research the potential environmental and social impacts of shale gas exploitation.

Key Facts

  • Our research was the basis for UK legislation‌
  • We work with academics across the world 
  • The questions we tackle are informed by the public
  • We are fiercely independent with strict ethics
  • We are neither for nor against fracking


Launched in 2013, ReFINE was formed after trans-European discussions between scientists, policy-makers and the petroleum industry identified the need for unbiased research into the potential effects of shale gas exploitation.

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The consortium, led by Professor Richard Davies, Professor of geo-energy at Newcastle University, in conjunction with colleagues at IIT Bombay, Durham, Cambridge, Stanford, Strathclyde, Keele and Hull universities, adheres to strict impartiality with research topics prioritised by an Independent Science Board (ISB).


ReFINE has recieved contributions from the Natural Environment Research Council, Environment Agency and the EU. ReFINE has previously been funded by Ineos, Shell, Total, Chevron, GDF Suez and Centrica. The Department for Energy and Climate Change, the European Commission Joint Research Centre and the British Geological Survey participate in an advisory-stakeholder capacity. The consortium has the support of organisations such as the Geological Society of London, the Bulgarian Geological Society and the Royal Society of Chemistry.  

Although previously funded by the energy industry, ReFINE enforces strict governance and ethical procedures to ensure that funders have no control over the research that is undertaken or published.