Energy Minister Michael Fallon: UK set to see '40 shale gas wells'
Minister says it would be 'irresponsible' not to allow companies to find out if the underground reserves can be extracted
Wednesday 02 October 2013
Around 40 wells investigating the UK's potential use of shale gas could emerge in the next couple of years, Energy Minister Michael Fallon has said.
Mr Fallon said it would be "irresponsible" not to allow companies to find out if the underground reserves can be extracted, despite concerns over one of the techniques used, known as fracking.
This process involves fracturing rocks deep underground with water and chemicals to extract gas.
Mr Fallon also reiterated his desire for more home-grown energy supplies, adding that the UK was last self-sufficient for gas in 2004.
The minister was speaking days after it emerged the bill to police anti-fracking protests at Balcombe, West Sussex, is an estimated £4 million.
Energy company Cuadrilla has carried out exploratory oil drilling at a site in the area although no fracking, also known as hydraulic fracturing, took place.
Mr Fallon told BBC Radio 4's Today: "We now know from the study we did in the summer that we've got twice or three times as much shale as we originally thought so we do need to do everything we can to make sure they can explore as soon as possible the potential for getting it out.
"When talking about shale gas, it doesn't have to involve fracking, some of it will just be core drilling. I think we're going to see a couple of years of exploration - of exploratory wells. There are about a dozen companies involved now in different sites up and down England looking for shale gas.
"So I think we're going to see maybe 30, 40 wells drilled over the next couple of years to see what the real potential is - whether this gas can be got out easily as they have been getting it out in the United States and whether they can get it out as cheaply as they have got it out in the United States."
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
£30000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Front-End UI Application ...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...
£27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Domestic Service Only Engineers are requ...
£23600 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Employability Service withi...