Thursday 13 December 2012: The international oil and gas industry has welcomed the UK government’s landmark decision to allow hydraulic fracturing to resume and to establish an Office for Unconventional Oil and Gas – actions that pave the way for the potential development of ‘gas-from-shale’ in the UK.
Commenting on the decision, Michael Engell-Jensen, the Executive Director of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers said:
“Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence for responsible oil and gas operations. Primarily it is a sign of a growing understanding amongst legislators and regulators that ‘gas-from-shale’ may provide one of the keys to solving the challenge of fulfilling Europe’s future energy needs.
The government’s decision follows an independent expert review of the evidence and an authoritative review of the scientific and engineering evidence on shale gas extraction conducted by the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.
The UK is the latest European country to give the green light to promote development of gas-from-shale; it has also announced the creation of an Office for Unconventional Gas and Oil to stream-line decision-making. There will also be consultation on the applicable tax regime for onshore unconventional gas.
“This signals a deliberate, strategic decision by the UK to advance unconventional gas as part of a broader strategy of embracing greater investment particularly in gas generation,” added Engell-Jensen.
“The EU already has regulations in place to ensure that exploration of gas-from-shale is conducted in a safe and environmentally responsible way, and our industry has considerable experience in doing so. Nevertheless, the industry views the UK government’s overall commitment to science-based regulation positively.
“If exploration were to be successful in Europe, gas-from-shale could potentially provide the continent with an additional source of secure, competitive energy. Lower CO2 emissions from gas could make an immediate, positive impact on achieving ambitious EU CO2 reduction targets while enhancing long-term competitiveness. However, until early exploration work is carried out, the true potential of natural gas-from-shale for Europe will not be known.”
Hydraulic fracturing is one of the essential technologies used