The UK Govt. is today (Thursday 13 Aug) expected to announce its plans to speed up shale-gas decision-making processes as integral component in its plans to lower energy bills for consumer and industry alike, according to Westminster sources.
No. 10 insiders told Scottish-UK-Energy News that this ‘positive early action should help start breaking the log jam that has developed in some areas of the country and help England in particular build a large and successful Shale gas industry.
INEOS – Britain’s second-largest manufacturing company, which owns and operates the Grangemouth petro-chem refinery near Falkirk – has welcomed the UK Government’s plans to fast-track shale gas planning applications ‘whilst ensuring that local people continue to have a strong say on the development of shale gas exploration in their areas
An INEOS spokesman said: “This positive early action should help break the log jam that has developed in some areas of the country and give first mover advantage to those communities willing to quickly embrace the shale gas revolution.”
“We have pledged to donate 6% of revenues (2% to communities and 4% to land and home owners) to those communities directly above shale gas wells.
“We believe that our knowledge and expertise in running complex petrochemical facilities coupled with world class sub surface expertise makes us a natural leader in the forthcoming UK Shale Gas Revolution.”
UKOOG – the trade association for the onshore UK oil and gas industry – also welcomed the Government’s move to speed up decision making on shale gas applications.
Ken Cronin, Chief Executive, UKOOG: “The onshore oil and gas industry is committed to consulting and working with local communities to develop the gas resources that this country desperately needs to access.
“However, recent experience has shown that the planning process is unwieldy and the time taken for planning decisions has soared from three months to over a year, causing delay and cost and this is not the interests of local people, the industry, or indeed the British people.
“It is right that the Government is acting to ensure that local people can have their say and that the highest standards of safety and environmental protection are met, but also ensuring that the planning process itself is fit for purpose.
“With over 4 in 5 of our homes using gas for heating and cooking, with gas being used by our manufacturing industries to make essential products and with over 80% of our gas predicted to come from overseas by 2030, it is essential that this country develops sources of this essential energy resource that is below our feet.”
The imminent UK Govt. decision on fracking fast-tracking will ratchet up the pressure on the Scottish Government to stop sitting on the fence of its ‘moratorium’ on shale gas energy. Scotland has huge reserves of shale gas spread across numerous reservoirs scattered across the Central Belt – including the ‘Gulf of Gullane’ sweetspot in East Lothian, as well as reservoirs around INEOS’ Grangemouth refinery.
INEOS recently launched two huge trans-continental supertanker ships to transport shale gas to Grangemouth because supplies are running dry from the North Sea.
Grangemouth owner pledges to make INEOS the biggest domestic shale gas supplier in the UK – http://goo.gl/8z6YFU
Glasgow digital media and marketing agency Fatbuzz takes title sponsor role at UK 2015 Shale Energy conference – http://goo.gl/s62rOL
The UK Shale Energy Conference 2015: Will Shale Gas Replace Oil in the UK – With or Without Fracking? – http://goo.gl/hrEzOi
For more information: fatbuzz.com and http://goo.gl/hrEzOi
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Reacting to the news that the UK Government is to introduce new planning guidelines that could see ministers overrule local authorities if they are seen to be ‘obstructive’ to fracking proposals, Flick Monk, Unconventional Gas Campaigner at Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:
“With this drillers’ charter, the UK Government seems intent on overriding the democratic safeguards of the English planning system and shutting out local voices from crucial decisions about fracking developments that will have major impacts on their communities.
“Conservatives across England will find these new measures difficult to explain to their constituents. The fracking industry is deeply unpopular across the whole of the UK, highlighted by the recent decision in Lancashire that rejected a fracking proposal by Cuadrilla after threatened local communities united in opposition.
“Conservative, SNP and Labour MPs who are willing to stand up for the health and wellbeing of their constituents must now unite in the interests of their constituents and call for a UK wide moratorium on the unconventional gas industry before drilling starts all over England.”