DECC publishes new public information video on shale (natural) gas fracking process

DECC fracking video Apr 2016The British government is keen to tap the UK’s energy potential from shale gas – which is the same natural gas obtained from conventional gas fields, such as in the North Sea – so it has produced a new public information video on the process.

You can watch it here: https://goo.gl/I1cITQ

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a technique used in the extraction of gas from shale rock and has been extensively used over the last 60 years – it is estimated that more than 2.5 million wells have been ‘fracked’ worldwide.

Scientists from the British Geological Survey (BGS) have estimated that the total volume of gas in the Bowland-Hodder shale in northern England is some 1300 trillion cubic feet (central estimate).

The British Geological Society’s Bowland Shale Gas study is the first in the UK to provide investors, operators and regulators with an indication of where to target future exploratory drilling. But it is not possible to estimate how much shale gas and oil the UK can produce until there has been some exploration and testing.

The UK Government believes that the regulation is robust for exploration, but wants to continue to improve it. In 2012, the Royal Academy of Engineering and Royal Society reviewed the scientific and engineering evidence on shale gas.

The review concluded that “the health, safety and environmental risks associated with hydraulic fracturing (often termed ‘fracking’) as a means to extract shale gas can be managed effectively in the UK as long as operational best practices are implemented and enforced through regulation.”

The Royal Society review of hydraulic fracturing

Public Health England assessed the risk to human health of extracting shale gas in an October 2013 report. They evaluated available evidence on issues including air quality, radon gas, naturally occurring radioactive materials, water contamination and waste water. They concluded that “the risks to public health from exposure to emissions from shale gas extraction are low if operations are properly run and regulated.”

Public Health England report

 
* UK Shale Energy Conference, Glasgow 30 September 2016 

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