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The �new� non-conventional hydrocarbons: the solution to the energy conundrum?


  • Virginia Di Nino

    () (Bank of Italy)

  • Ivan Faiella

    () (Bank of Italy)


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Virginia Di Nino & Ivan Faiella, 2013. "The �new� non-conventional hydrocarbons: the solution to the energy conundrum?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 205, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_205_13

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kinnaman, Thomas C., 2011. "The economic impact of shale gas extraction: A review of existing studies," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(7), pages 1243-1249, May.
    2. Benes, Jaromir & Chauvet, Marcelle & Kamenik, Ondra & Kumhof, Michael & Laxton, Douglas & Mursula, Susanna & Selody, Jack, 2015. "The future of oil: Geology versus technology," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 207-221.
    3. Charles A.S. Hall, 2011. "Introduction to Special Issue on New Studies in EROI (Energy Return on Investment)," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(10), pages 1-5, October.
    4. Cutler J. Cleveland & Peter A. O’Connor, 2011. "Energy Return on Investment (EROI) of Oil Shale," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(11), pages 1-16, November.
    5. C. Dominguez-Pery, 2011. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00740570, HAL.
    6. Lucija Muehlenbachs & Elisheba Spiller & Christopher Timmins, 2012. "Shale Gas Development and Property Values: Differences across Drinking Water Sources," NBER Working Papers 18390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    non-conventional hydrocarbons; energy supply; environmental effects of energy sources;

    JEL classification:

    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling


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