United Kingdom to boost shale gas production to develop the industry

Daniel Fowler
May 18, 2018

Planned changes to the planning process, including allowing drilling for gas as "permitted development", would mean that fracking companies could drill straight away, minus the need for a planning application, environmental impact assessment or proper local democratic participation.

If adopted both proposals could radically streamline the planning process for new shale gas projects. "We will work with government to try and help them put in place a regulatory environment that makes a United Kingdom onshore gas industry both safe and commercially sustainable", Calder said. Two Conservative MPs who have constituencies in areas potentially affected by fracking have hit out at the Government's announcement on Twitter.

Her comments were echoed by Rebecca Newsome, head of politics at Greenpeace UK.

"Communities and their local councils across the United Kingdom have said no in every way they can, but the government have turned a deaf ear to everyone who doesn't own fossil fuel company". Our planning permission to drill and test just four shale gas exploratory wells in Lancashire was granted after a lengthy and costly three year process.

Rose Dickinson, campaigner at Friends of the Earth said: "The government's plans pervert the planning process and could make England's landscape a wild west for whatever cowboy wants to start drilling and digging up our countryside".

What is fracking and why is it controversial?

. He said fracking was needed to replace dwindling North Sea gas supplies and to reduce imports from overseas.

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Horgan said he is trying to protect the province's interests by joining two legal cases over the project and asking the B.C. Nor did he rule out the possibility that Ottawa could take a financial stake in the project to ensure it becomes a reality.

"As a result, the United Kingdom is becoming ever more dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern gas, with British money funding foreign powers at the rate of £500m a month instead of generating jobs and tax revenues in this country", she said.

However, it is impossible to know exactly how much shale gas might be underground - and, more importantly, how much can be extracted - until fracking has started in earnest.

"We believe that it is right to utilize our domestic gas resources to the maximum extent and exploring further the potential for onshore gas production from shale rock formations in the UK", Clark said.

Under the new plans, consultations will be launched on whether non-hydraulic fracturing shale exploration should be treated as permitted development and the criteria required to trigger the inclusion of shale production projects into the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects regime.

The government is also introducing a new shale environmental regulator - to replace the previous roles of the Environment Agency, the Health and Safety Executive and the Oil and Gas Authority - and a new £1.6 million shale support fund, to speed-up the process of applying to drill and make the development of shale gas easier.

Planning laws on fracking might be relaxed following a government announcement today.

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