The ï¿½newï¿½ non-conventional hydrocarbons: the solution to the energy conundrum?
Technological developments have made it possible to exploit hitherto unexplored hydrocarbon resources. To date the only energy market which has experienced rapid changes as a result is that in the United States, thanks not only to its abundant reserves but also to its exemption from the environmental laws that instead apply to the conventional extraction of hydrocarbons. These and other factors make it unlikely that the U.S. experience will be replicated on the same scale elsewhere, least of all in Europe. In general, the benefits of exploiting non-conventional energy sources must be offset against the high extractive, logistic and environmental costs. The direct effects of new non-conventional hydrocarbon resources would be negligible in Italy: there are no significant resources in the country and any increase in international supply would only affect the liquefied natural gas (LNG) market that currently accounts for just 13% of all gas imports in Italy.
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