Fracking rules should be simplified, says Cameron

25 October 2013
By Edd Gent
Mobile version
Share |
David Cameron wants to simplify Britain's shale extraction regulations

David Cameron wants to simplify Britain's shale extraction regulations

Fracking regulations must be simplified to speed up the development of shale reserves, Prime Minister David Cameron said today.

"On fracking, we do need to take action across the board to help enable this technology to go ahead," he told a news conference in Brussels after a meeting of European leaders.

"There is a worry people are going to have to go through so many different permits in order to start fracking that they simply won't bother, so we need a simplified system."

Under pressure to do more to bring down rising consumer energy costs, Cameron has repeatedly urged the country to "get behind fracking", a technology he says would bring down bills and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Britain is thought to have big shale gas reserves, but opponents of the process say it can trigger small earthquakes, cause pollution and contaminate the water supply.

Operators who want to drill a well to look for gas need a licence from the energy ministry, permission from the Mineral Planning Authority and an Environment Agency permit. They must go through the process again if they decide to start production.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, retrieves gas and oil trapped in tight-layered rock formations by injecting high-pressure water, sand and chemicals. There were extensive protests at an exploratory oil well in Balcombe, West Sussex, earlier this year over fracking.

Share |

Latest Issue

E&T cover image 1412

"Are you a digital native or an analogue native? The analogue aesthetic is alive and well at work in art, music, fashion and many other aspects of culture"

E&T jobs

E&T Marketplace

The essential source of engineering products and suppliers.

Subscribe

Choose the way you would like to access the latest news and developments in your field.

Subscribe to E&T