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New scientific report recommends fracking moratorium

i Jun 23rd 1 Comment by

Lewino-frac-pad-Poland-San-Leon-Energy1[1]A major new scientific study has concluded that the controversial gas extraction technique known as fracking poses a “significant” risk to human health and British wildlife, and that an EU-wide moratorium should be implemented until widespread regulatory reform is undertaken.

The damning report by the CHEM Trust, the British charity that investigates the harm chemicals cause humans and wildlife, highlights serious shortcomings in the UK’s regulatory regime, which the report says will only get worse as the Government makes further budget cuts.

It also warns of severe risks to human health if the new Conservative government tries to fast-track fracking of shale gas across the UK. The “scale of commercial fracking” unleashed by the Government’s eagerness to exploit the technique “should not be underestimated”, it cautions.

Read more in the Independent on Sunday.

You can read the CHEM Trust report on their website.

The fracking trade organisation UKOOG have criticised the report, read the CHEM Trust’s response.

Comments

  1. jane
    October 13, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    have you seen this it was a gov meeting about shale gas ignore if you have

    Westminster Hall Tuesday 30 June 2015 [Mr George Howarth in the Chair]
    Shale Gas
    9.30 am
    Kevin Hollinrake (Thirsk and Malton) (Con): I beg to move,

    That this House has considered shale gas.

    Dr Whitehead: The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right: the location of various wells would require either that the gas was stored in tanks near the well and then transported or that new pipelines be constructed to take it away. A pipeline could not be organised in the same way as for the North sea.

    On the basis of the scenario I have outlined for what a shale gas industry would look like in this country, the estimates are that, in order to divert, let us say, 10% of our gas supply from conventional gas into shale gas and remove part of the need to have gas from Qatar or Russia—10% is a modest diversion—we would need to drill somewhere between 10,000 and 18,000 wells, and they would have to be re-drilled over a period. Of course, those wells would not be evenly distributed throughout the country—Members would not have around two wells per constituency; wells would be concentrated in the two areas of the UK where there are reasonable shale plays. Those shale plays are geologically faulted and difficult to get at; nevertheless, they are the main areas: Bowland shale in the north-east of England and across the weald in the south.

    We are looking at 10,000 to 18,000 wells concentrated in two parts of the country. As the hon. Member for Thirsk and Malton said, that would probably result in the very intensive geographical concentration of fracking in those areas, with a substantial geographical concentration of take-off facilities and of the need to remove waste water, 7 million gallons of which per well will have to be removed and disposed of fairly safely as hazardous waste. We do not currently have the ability to do that in this country. We can do it for the occasional well, but we would not be able to do it very easily without substantial new facilities for such a concentration of hazardous waste, which would be repeated as the wells were re-fracked.

    We need to ask whether all that is a realistic prospect compared with the gain that might come from extracting the additional gas. It seems to me that, if that is what we want for our energy strategy, there will be a very high price to pay throughout the country for a marginal gain. Are we really, seriously committing ourselves to that? Recent events in Lancashire demonstrate that it is rather difficult to get two wells into the ground, let alone 18,000 over a longer period. I am worried that we are setting ourselves up by assuming that some of our future energy supplies are going to be pencilled in for this particular route, when either there are unacceptable costs to reaching that goal or, to make the industry work, we will have to build a whole lot of infrastructure on the back of what we already have.

    Having looked at how a UK shale gas industry might look, it might be interesting to look briefly at an alternative industry: green gas, which is the production of gas by anaerobic digestion plants and associated methods. It has been projected that, by using most of the available feedstock that could go into anaerobic digestion plants, we could probably divert between 5% and 10% of our domestic gas supply requirements. When I say divert, I mean literally divert, because green gas AD plants can now inject gas directly into the mains.