UKOOG, the trade body for the onshore oil and gas industry, has today welcomed publication of a consultation by Government on the proposed shale gas wealth fund and confirms it will be providing a submission.
In June 2013 UKOOG announced an industry community engagement charter which included community benefits.
Presently, alll UKOOG member companies that use high volume hydraulic fracturing will run two Community Benefit Schemes: Exploration (before money is made from gas/oil at the site) and Production (once money is made).
- In Exploration £100,000 per site will be paid directly into a Community Fund and the community will decide how to spend it.
- In Production, Community Benefits will be made up of a percentage of money made by that site. UKOOG member companies have guaranteed 1% of the site revenue.
Both these industry schemes are in addition to the Government’s proposed shale gas wealth fund
Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG, said: “The onshore oil and gas industry in the UK continues to believe that local people should share in the success of our industry and be rewarded for hosting sites on behalf of others in the country.
“That is why we launched the industry’s community benefits scheme and community engagement charter in 2013. These are additional to the proposed Shale Wealth Fund.
“The overarching objectives of secure, affordable and low carbon energy continue to be a driving force for our industry. Just 12 years ago, Britain was a net exporter of gas, but imports now make up nearly half of our gas demand, at a cost to this country of around £10 million a day.
“Recent estimates by National Grid are that, without shale, the UK could be importing over 90% of its gas by 2040.”
UKOOG has investigated other community schemes in similar sectors – including renewables – to find the most successful projects.
Early community benefit funds are often used to fund short term projects in the community such as village halls, playgrounds or local transport for the elderly. But later, larger projects are chosen which aim to increase the long term legacy of these community benefit funds.
These include a fuel poverty fund, an energy and advice centre, recycling facilities, bike tracks, habitat enhancement schemes, a local energy discount scheme and community based renewable energy projects.