International Association of Drilling Contractors supports European Parliament vote on gas shale development

Houston, Texas (Nov. 21, 2012) – The International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) is pleased with the European Parliament’s approval of two key reports on gas shale exploration and development.

The reports from the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee (DG ENVI) and the Industry, Research and Energy Committee (DG ITRE), recognize the importance of shale gas development in Europe and again illustrates that a European Union (EU) moratorium on shale gas development is unnecessary.

“Shale gas exploitation in the EU holds the promise of vast new amounts of indigenous natural gas resources, which will be a boon for the European economies and give a diversity of supply that is not now present for natural gas,” said Brian Petty, IADC executive vice president, government and regulatory affairs.

In the EU, exploration and production of natural gas is heavily regulated with 14 pieces of EU legislation governing the process in addition to national and local regulations.

The technology used for shale gas development, hydraulic fracturing, has been in worldwide use since the 1940’s, with over 2 million wells drilled. During this period, numerous technological advances have enabled operators to drastically reduce the risk for surface and sub-surface incidents. With the introduction of horizontal drilling techniques, operators are able to drill fewer overall wells with the ability for each to reach a larger portion of the targeted development.

“Here in the United States, we’ve seen a marked increase in shale gas drilling and completions in the last several years. The benefits are being felt by every citizen, with lower energy costs and lower carbon emissions with the added benefit of economic stimulation,” said Mr. Petty. “At the IADC, we continue to advocate and lead the development of shale gas areas in Europe and offer our guidance on training a workforce competent in the drilling process to reduce risks.”

About IADC

IADC is dedicated to enhancing the interests of oil-and-gas and geothermal drilling contractors worldwide. IADC’s contract-drilling members own most of the world’s land and offshore drilling units and drill the vast majority of the wells that produce the planet’s oil and gas. IADC’s membership also includes oil-and-gas producers, and manufacturers and suppliers of oilfield equipment and services. Founded in 1940, IADC’s mission is to improve industry health, safety and environmental practices; advance drilling and completion technology; and champion responsible standards, practices, legislation and regulations that provide for safe, efficient and environmentally sound drilling operations worldwide. IADC holds Accredited Observer status at the International Maritime Organization and the International Seabed Authority, specialized agencies of the United Nations. The Association is a leader in developing standards for industry training, notably its Well Control Accreditation Program (WellCAP)® and rig-floor orientation program, RIG PASS®. IADC is headquartered in Houston and has offices in Washington D.C., the Netherlands, Thailand, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as chapters in the UK, Venezuela, Brazil, Australasia, South Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and across the United States. For more information, visit the IADC website at