In view of the current energy crisis, scientists are calling for natural gas to be extracted from shale rock by fracking in Germany as well. “As long as we need natural gas in Germany, it’s – to put it mildly – a prank that we don’t produce it here,” said Hans-Joachim Kümpel, former President of the Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources, to WELT AM SONNTAG.

Up to 2.3 trillion cubic meters of accessible natural gas lie beneath Germany in the shale rock. The amount would be sufficient to supply the country with natural gas for decades, said Kümpel. Germany gets a good quarter of its energy from natural gas. Around half of Germany’s natural gas comes from Russia, and that should be replaced as quickly as possible.

A production volume of 20 billion cubic meters per year by domestic fracking is possible for decades to come, says Kümpel. The amount corresponds to about half of the current natural gas deliveries from Russia. “It would significantly reduce the blatant import dependency,” stressed Kümpel. Within a year, shale gas production could begin in Germany, said Mohammed Amro, who works on geoflow technology at the Freiberg Mining Academy, to WELT AM SONNTAG. The prerequisite is that the government lifts the fracking ban. “In view of the political situation, Germany should draw more on its own resources,” said Amro.

It is true that Germany is behind schedule: Drilling companies have moved abroad and deposits still have to be developed. But in five years, the production rate could be increased to such an extent that Germany could cover a fifth of its natural gas requirements with domestic fracking gas, Amro told the newspaper.

“Not to frack in Germany is a serious mistake,” explained Werner Ressing, former department head in the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, responsible for industrial policy in WELT AM SONNTAG.

Environmental organizations have discredited fracking in Germany with their warnings of groundwater contamination and earthquakes. Scientific reports had always rejected the concerns. In the meantime, however, experts have given up arguing against it, reports Kümpel.

Economics Minister Robert Habeck is trying to organize gas imports from abroad. He has rejected the development of domestic natural gas reserves in shale rock, despite the energy crisis: “I don’t think that’s the way we should go and that won’t help us,” he said. The waiver of domestic natural gas production is “regrettable, if not irresponsible,” said Kümpel, a raw materials expert, at WELT AM SONNTAG.