Shale gas in Sweden

Overview

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Sweden has approximately 10 trillion cubic feet of technically recoverable shale gas resource in southern Sweden.1 It is, however, questioned whether shale gas production is commercially viable in Sweden.

Shell has drilled for shale gas in the Skåne area of southern Sweden but found it uneconomic and stopped the operation in 2011. There was also public resistance against the drilling.

There are some other companies, such as Gripen Gas, Energigas Östergötland and Tekniska Verken in Linköping, with licenses to explore shale gas in south-central Sweden. However, the shale gas resources these companies are exploring are expected to be small and of little commercial significance. 2

There are no specific legal regulations in Sweden regulating shale gas. The exploration and the environmental risks are regulated through existing legislation, such as Swedish mineral legislation and the Swedish Environmental Code. The Swedish Parliament has not taken any decisions to prohibit the exploration of shale gas, and at the moment there are no plans to introduce new legislation in this respect.

A general comment is that the exploration of shale gas is controversial and that it is an issue that gives rise to public resistance in Sweden.


  1. US Energy Information Administration (10 June 2013). Technically recoverable shale oil and shale gas resources: an assessment of 137 shale formations in 41 countries outside the United States 
  2. According to Anna Åberg at SGU (Geological Survey of Sweden)