Cameron Urges Nation to Embrace Fracking

on Aug 12, 2013
Listen Monday, August 12th: Prime Minister David Cameron has defended the UK shale gas push, noting that the whole country should support fracking, the controversial technique for shale gas extraction. Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Cameron has said that he wanted all of the UK to benefit from shale gas drilling.

**UK Needs to Share Shale Gas Benefits, Cameron Says**
“Fracking has become a national debate in Britain – and it’s one that I’m determined to win,” Cameron wrote in The Daily Telegraph yesterday. “If we don’t back this technology, we will miss a massive opportunity to help families with their bills and make our country more competitive.”

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Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is the process of shale gas extraction, which involves pumping water and chemicals into rocks to force the gas out. While shale gas and fracking have transformed the energy landscape in North America, reducing costs for households and businesses, opponents of fracking are worried that the technique could result in water contamination and trigger earth tremors.

!m[Prime Minister Outlines “Huge Benefits of Shale Gas” ](/uploads/story/4739/thumbs/pic-1_inline.jpg)
In an attempt to allay those fears, Cameron noted that there was no evidence that the process of shale gas extraction would cause contamination of water supplies or other damage if properly regulated. Cameron also said that drilling for shale gas would bring financial benefits to local communities.

“Companies have agreed to pay £100,000 to every community situated near an exploratory well”, Cameron wrote. “If gas is then extracted, 1 per cent of the revenue – perhaps as much as £10 million – will go straight back to residents who live nearby.”
“…The huge benefits of shale gas outweigh any very minor change to the landscape,” he added.

**Government Support Continues**
Last month, the UK government unveiled the world’s most generous tax regime for shale gas production, with the proposal including cutting the tax on some of the income generated from producing unconventional gas from 62 percent to just 30 percent. The new allowance, subject to consultation, is expected to go into the finance bill next year.
In June, the British Geological Survey revealed that the Bowland Shale in the north of England contained about 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas. The industry however still needs to determine how much of that amount is commercially and technically recoverable.
Companies already exploring for shale gas in the Bowland area in northwest England include IGas Energy Plc (LON:IGAS) and Cuadrilla Resources, which recently partnered up with British Gas owner Centrica Plc (LON:CNA). Cuadrilla is currently facing serious opposition at its drilling site in Balcombe in West Sussex where protests have been held against fracking in the area.
**IGas’ share price was 1.11 percent up at 114.25p London as of 11:46 BST on August 12, while** **Centrica’s share price was 1.12 percent down at 387.00p.**


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