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Shale Gas

To date IGEM has published two independent reports into shale gas (Shale gas: A UK energy miracle, and Shale gas: the time is now, and a signposting document (IGEM/G/101: Onshore natural gas extraction and route to use) to support explorers' full regulatory compliance.

After the US, Europe could become the next major producer of shale gas. Several European countries including the UK have substantial shale gas resources and the benefits of extraction could include greater security of energy supply, reduced dependency on imports and economic benefits including new tax revenues.

However, commercial scale production of UK onshore shale gas could be at least three to five years away and is dependent on industry and policymakers overcoming significant obstacles. Explorers must first determine how much gas is recoverable and resolve regulatory, supply chain and funding issues. But they must also engage with public opinion and take into account the concerns of the anti-fracking movement.

IGEM has a dual role to play in the continuing debate. Firstly, it has a critical role in promoting the science and evidence to dispel myths and misconceptions that have gathered around fracking and shale gas development. Secondly, it has a role to play in publishing guidance and best practice for the industry.

 

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