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Energy independent Ineos, one of the largest oil and gas operators in the North Sea, has asked the UK government for a license to develop a fracking test site in a bid to prove the technology is safe.
According to a report by the BBC, Ineos believes the development of domestic shale gas reserves can make the UK self-sufficient in a matter of a decade.
Fracking does not have many fans in the UK. There has been only one company, Cuadrilla, that got to drill a few test wells and it was earlier this year facing a deadline to seal them.
However, amid the Ukraine war and the new dose of energy uncertainty it injected in every European economy, the UK governments appears to have reconsidered: the North Sea Transition Authority, formerly the Oil and Gas Authority, granted Cuadrilla a stay of execution for the order requiring it to seal its wells, Sky News reported earlier this month.
“I would like to thank the prime minister and the business secretary for seeing the light and realising - just in time - how absurd it would have been to force us to pour concrete down Britain's only two viable shale gas wells in the middle of an energy crisis,” the CEO of Cuadrilla said.
“But this suspension will have a cul-de-sac ending unless we now reverse the moratorium preventing us from using the wells (and others like them) to get shale gas out of the ground and flowing into British households,” Francis Egan added.
The chief executive of Ineos had a similar message. Per the BBC report, Sir Jim Radcliff noted the UK was in the middle of an energy crisis, which was a "ridiculous situation with so much gas under our feet".
Exploiting its shale reserves, he also said, will allow "the UK to benefit from its own resources, massively reduce the cost of energy and ensure our long-term energy independence".
Last week, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng ordered a scientific review of the effects of fracking on the environment. The British Geological Survey has three months to complete it.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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Irina is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.