The UK is lifting a 2019 moratorium on shale gas fracking as it looks to ramp up domestic energy resources and help households and businesses struggling to pay soaring energy bills, Britain’s new Prime Minister Liz Truss said at the House of Commons on Thursday.
Truss will also soon issue new licenses for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea as Britain looks to increase its own energy resources.
The lifting of the fracking ban comes nearly three years after the UK government ended its support for fracking following a report from the authority supervising the oil and gas industry that “it is not possible with current technology to accurately predict the probability of tremors associated with fracking.”
Cuadrilla Resources—the company operating Britain’s only two shale gas wells in Lancashire, which had to stop drilling after the government announced the moratorium—welcomed the lifting of the fracking ban today.
Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan said: “This is an entirely sensible decision and recognises that maximizing the UK’s domestic energy supply is vital if we are going to overcome the ongoing energy crisis and reduce the risk of it recurring in the future.”
“Without the strong measures set out today, the UK was set to import over two thirds of its gas by the end of the decade, exposing the British public and businesses to further risk of supply shortage and price hikes down the line,” Egan added.
Apart from lifting the ban on fracking, Truss also announced a cap of $2,890 (£2,500) on the average yearly energy bill per household until October 2024, and said she would issue new licenses for oil and gas drilling in the North Sea in a bid to increase Britain’s own energy resources and lessen dependence on imports.
Truss also said yesterday in her first question time in Parliament that she was against the windfall tax on oil and gas companies operating in the UK, reiterating her commitment to focus on developing domestic energy resources.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- Belgian Energy Minister: Europe Faces Tough Winter Without Gas Price Cuts
- Renewables Are Losing Steam As Bottlenecks Emerge
- Is The Russian Oil Price Cap Worth It?