Shell Shale Gas Project, Skåne, Sweden


In May 2008, Swedish governmental agency Bergsstaten gave Shell Exploration and Production AB (affiliate of Royal Dutch Shell Plc) permission for shale gas prospecting and test-drilling in Colonussänkan in Skåne, Sweden. Shell was test-drilling in three different places: Sjöbo, Hörby and Tomelilla.

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Basic Data
NameShell Shale Gas Project, Skåne, Sweden
Accuracy of LocationMEDIUM regional level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Shale gas fracking
Specific Commodities
Natural Gas
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsSince the project ended in its exploration phase, there are no quantitative details on extraction.

Project Area (in hectares)226,155
Level of Investment (in USD)Shell spent 30,8 million USD during test-drilling
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Start Date2009
Company Names or State EnterprisesShell Exploration Company B.V. from Netherlands - subsidiary to Royal Dutch Shell Plc
Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) from Netherlands
Relevant government actorsShell Exploration and Production AB (Sweden, subsidiary to Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Netherlands)
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersHeaven or Shell,
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingLocal ejos
Local government/political parties
Forms of MobilizationCreation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…)
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseWithdrawal of company/investment
Company did not find it profitable enough to continue explorations.
Development of AlternativesEjos demand that the Swedish law be changed to give municipalities and/or landowners veto.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The reason to why Shell Exploration and Production AB decided discontinue the explorations was not because of the resistance they met from EJO Heaven or Shell, but because the result from the test drillings showed that the project would not be profitable enough to proceed. The institutional and legislative issues that the protest group Heaven or Shell wanted to change remain the same.
Sources and Materials

Minerallagen (1991:45),
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Miljöbalken (1998:808),
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Avdelningen för Fastighetsvetenskap, Lunds Tekniska Högskola,
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Fredrik Johansson and Johan Pettersson, 2011, Naturgasprospektering i Skåne, Master thesis, Institutionen för Teknik och samhälle


(1) Heaven or Shell,
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Hård strid om svensk gasutvinning, Svenska Dagbladet,
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(2) Shell skrotar planer på gasutvinning, Skånskan,
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(3) Shell får klartecken leta gas i Skåne, Ny Teknik,
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Meta Information
ContributorLinda Dubec
Last update24/06/2014