Industry welcomes new Shale Task Force report on UK safety

Ken Cronin, Chief Executive, UKOOG
Ken Cronin, Chief Executive, UKOOG

The UK Shale Task Force is due to publish its second interim report on industry issues today (15 Jul).

UKOOG, the representative body of the onshore oil and gas industry, has already welcomed publication today of the Second Interim Report – Assessing the Impact on the Local Environment and Health.

Ken Cronin, Chief Executive, UKOOG, said: “We are pleased that the report highlighted a number of areas that we have already considered and have taken action on.

“The tone of the report is geared towards creating a better understanding of hazard and risk which I think will be invaluable for those coming to this subject for the first time.

“I am particularly pleased to note that the Task Force is satisfied that the risk levels associated with public health hazards are acceptable provided that the well is properly drilled, protected, monitored and regulated.”

Lord Chris Smith is Chair of the Task Force on Shale Gas, which aims to provide impartial scrutiny and information about shale gas exploration and production in the UK.

Lord Smith was Chair of the Environment Agency from 2008 to 2014, and has been Chair of the Advertising Standards Authority since 2006. His previous roles include being Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, shadow Secretary of State for Environmental Protection, MP

The report clearly undertakes to make a relevant contribution to creating understanding among the general public of the hazards, risks and mitigation required with respect to shale gas extraction and clearly sets out that the mere identification of a hazard does not mean there is a risk and that if there is a risk it does not mean it cannot be mitigated.

A number of recommendations in the new report centre around practises that already are either common place in the sector or the industry has already committed to.

These include 3D seismic modelling, full chemical disclosure, the use of green completions at production to reduce fugitive emissions, establishing robust and transparent environmental baselines and continuing to monitor sites throughout operation and post decommissioning, in-line with the environmental regulators’ rules on the relinquishment of permits.

A number of other recommendations are also made which the industry and government will need to take consideration of in due course.

The organisations which fund the Shale Task Force Group include the Glasgow-based Weir Group as well as: –

  • Centrica
  • Cuadrilla Resources 
  • Dow Chemical Company
  • Total

What is shale gas?

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