• 3 minutes Nucelar Deal Is Dead? Iran Distances Itself Further From ND, Alarming Russia And France
  • 5 minutes Don Jr. Tweets name Ukraine Whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella. Worked for CIA during Obama Administration, Hold over to Trump National Security Counsel under Gen McCallister, more . . . .
  • 9 minutes Shale pioneer Chesepeak will file bankruptcy soon. FINALLY ! The consolidation begins
  • 12 minutes China's Blueprint For Global Power
  • 1 min Science: Only correct if it fits the popular narrative
  • 4 hours Crazy Stories From Round The World
  • 1 day EU has already lost the Trump vs. EU Trade War
  • 12 hours What are the odds of 4 U.S. politicians all having children working for Ukraine Gas Companies?
  • 18 hours Do The World's Energy Policies Make Sense?
  • 1 day China's Renewables Boom Hits the Wall
  • 3 hours Iran Burning: Shock Gas Price Hike Triggers Violent Protests After Subsidy Cuts
  • 1 day Forget out-of-date 'dirty oil' smear, Alberta moving to be world's cleanest oil industry
  • 21 hours Impeachment Nonsense
  • 3 hours Atty General Barr likely subpeona so called whistleblower and "leaker" Eric Ciaramella
  • 1 day Water, Trump, and Israel’s National Security
  • 2 days Pioneer's Sheffield in Doghouse. Oil upset his bragging about Shale hurt prices. Now on campaign to lower expectations, prop up price.
  • 2 days Tesla Launches Faster Third Generation Supercharger

Breaking News:

Russia Plans To Boost Crude Oil Exports

Alt Text

The Birth Of An LNG Superpower

Iran’s rapprochement with Qatar and…

Alt Text

Top U.S. Gas Producer Looks To Ditch Major Shale Assets

Shale icon Chesapeake is reportedly…

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel J. Graeber

Daniel Graeber is a writer and political analyst based in Michigan. His work on matters related to the geopolitical aspects of the global energy sector,…

More Info

Premium Content

British Draft Report Dispels Shale Gas Myths

A British government report said it's unlikely that hydraulic fracturing in shale natural gas sites will lead to groundwater contamination. While the British shale story is in its infancy, the government's report said policymakers may want to monitor everything from radioactive elements to noise pollution when mulling their shale future. Spills above ground may pose a risk but the report said that threat stems from operational failures or poor regulation, not so much the drilling practice itself. Critics have long challenged the practice, dubbed fracking. With science moving ahead of the debate, however, those opponents may be forced to change their tune.

Frack Off, a grassroots group in the United Kingdom, said threats from shale gas extraction include methane leaks, groundwater contamination and radioactive contamination. A report published last week by Public Health England, an agency within the Department of Health, said "potential risks to public health from exposure to the emissions associated with shale gas extraction are low if the operations are properly run and regulated".

Related article: When will the Shale Bubble Burst?

The success of shale natural gas in the United States has pushed the country to a leadership position in terms of overall production. Last month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, said the United States is on pace to pass Russia as the world's leading natural gas producer thanks in part to shale extraction. The British government estimates the Bowland shale play, near Lancashire, may contain enough natural gas to last the country for decades to come. So far, however, there are no commercial shale gas operations in the United Kingdom.

The PHE report looks to the U.S. experience with shale exploration to assess the potential dangers from shale extraction. It found there were lingering concerns over the levels of contamination associated with fracking but discounted most of them, saying either the U.S. studies were flawed or the dangers in Britain weren't as great because of weather and topographical variances. Any problems associated with shale gas extraction in the United States seem to be linked to poor regulations as much anything, PHE said.

Despite the report, advocacy groups like Friends of Earth said there are no guarantees the future shale gas story in the country will be risk-free. Natural gas, they say, is just "another climate changing fossil fuel that needs to be left in the ground." But that too seems out of step with the latest trends. Last week, the U.S. Energy Department said carbon dioxide emissions related to energy consumption were at their lowest point since 1994 because natural gas was used more than coal in the country. The International Energy Agency, meanwhile, says natural gas is a "low-risk" fuel source that's cheaper and less polluting than other fossil fuels. Jacob Rees-Mogg, a British lawmaker, went so far as to claim it was the "doomsayers" themselves who are responsible for negative energy trends. With mounting evidence suggesting the fear of fracking is unfounded, the neophobes may have to tilt their ire at different windmills.

By. Daniel J. Graeber of Oilprice.com




Download The Free Oilprice App Today

Back to homepage



Leave a comment
  • David Hrivnak on November 04 2013 said:
    For those who want to "leave it in the ground" what is their suggestion for supplying their energy needs? While I have moved to an electric car and roof top solar I see few people following. If WE stop using fossil fuels then the oil companies will stop drilling. But if we keep buying thier products you better beleive they will continue to drill.
  • Jon Michaels on November 05 2013 said:
    I read the opening statement as shale critics are proved right. Poor regulation and poor practices have led to poor experiences in the US.

    Tight regulation and improved practices will lead to higher prices in the UK and EU (and countries aspiring to EU membership).

    Frackivists are not the only critics of shale gas in the UK.

Leave a comment




Oilprice - The No. 1 Source for Oil & Energy News
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play