'We don't want to be victims of this gamble

When fracking in the UK was first advocated, it was believed that, with North Sea gas production falling, the country could be hostage to rising energy prices.

Friday, 11th January 2019, 3:35 pm
Updated Friday, 11th January 2019, 4:39 pm
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Six years later, things are very different.

New sources of gas from the USA and central Asia have become available, gas prices have halved and there is no shortage of supplies in Europe or across the world.

European demand for gas has also proved much lower than predicted.

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In addition, over the last five years, the cost of energy from solar and wind power has halved, and this diversity protects our energy security.

Shale gas in the USA can be cheaply extracted from vast reservoirs such as the Marcellus field and the Permian Basin.

However, the geology of Britain is very different: shale fields are small and scattered, making fracking much less productive and more expensive.

The capital expenditure required even to begin drilling operations, together with the much lower likelihood of success, makes fracking in Britain barely economically viable – especially when it has to compete with falling energy prices.

Yet despite these hard facts and against the will of local communities, the Government supports the fracking industry.

Manchester is now opposing fracking. Scotland and Wales already have moratoriums in place.

We don’t want to be the guinea-pig victims of a commercial gamble that could well backfire.

Peter Williams

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