Petition End the ban on fracking
We want the Government to allow fracking to proceed in England, and implement planning reforms to enable shale gas developments.
Fracking could increase availability of cheap local energy at a time of record prices squeezing living standards and leading to inflation and higher interest rates.
Government policy currently forbids access to these resources. This policy should be reversed.
This response was given on 4 April 2022
Shale gas could be part of our future energy mix, but we need to be led by the science. Any development of shale must be safe and cause minimal disruption and damage to those living and working nearby
The current pause on hydraulic fracturing for shale gas was implemented in November 2019 on the basis of the difficulty in predicting and managing seismic activity caused by fracking.
This followed hydraulic fracturing activities conducted in Lancashire that caused tremors that were widely felt by residents in surrounding areas, in some cases causing minor property damage.
Following this event, analysis conducted by the expert regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority (formerly called the Oil and Gas Authority), concluded that further analysis would be needed to confirm whether hydraulic fracturing could be done safely.
In response to Putin’s barbaric acts in Ukraine and against the Ukrainian people, it is important that we keep all energy options open. While shale gas could play a part in the UK’s future energy mix, the government has always been clear that its development must be safe.
For shale gas to become a significant contributor to the UK's energy supply, a significant number of wells would need to be drilled. This is because shale gas is very different to the UK’s typical offshore gas production, where a small number of wells can be sufficient to drain the gas from an entire field. Shale extraction instead relies on a continued series of new wells, each of which produces gas for a relatively short time.
It remains government policy to minimise disruption and damage to those living and working nearby to shale gas exploration sites. Shale gas could be part of our future energy mix, but we need to be led by the science.
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
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