The representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry has agreed a joint charter with the GMB union on shale gas, focusing on safety, skills and supply chain development.
The charter underlines a joint commitment between UKOOG and the GMB.
The two parties say UKOOG and GMB are committed to ensuring the industry works safely, transparently and in an environmentally responsible way.
Shale gas development has attracted a great deal of debate around health, safety and the environment in recent years.
The agreement will help build understanding amongst local communities and further bolster the strong safety and regulatory standards of the sector.
The industry is already regulated under the HSE, EA and DECC; has a comprehensive set of internal guidelines and a ground-breaking agreement around monitoring of fracking sites was announced last year.
Cuadrilla has applied to frack for shale gas at two Lancashire sites. The applications will be heard in the next fortnight.
Ken Cronin, UKOOG Chief Executive, commented: “I am delighted to be working with the GMB, their history is immersed in the gas industry and we have a lot of common interest.
“Natural gas from shale has the potential to generate many thousands of highly skilled well paid jobs.
Gary Smith GMB National Secretary commented: “Having access to gas is a matter of national security. The truth is we are going to be using gas including shale gas for a long time to come.
“ Given these facts we need to honestly consider the moral and environmental issues about transporting gas, including shale gas, across oceans and continents and being increasingly dependent on gas from countries with regulatory and environmental standards lower than ours.