Shale Gas Inquiry

Kathy Lewis has alerted me to this, having spotted a reference to it in a Western Mail article on 27th Feb (anyone got a copy please?)

The Energy and Climate Change Committee issued a call for written evidence for its forthcoming inquiry into Shale Gas. Unfortunately the deadline for written evidence has passed already (Thursday 13 January 2011). I cannot find a date for the inquiry as yet.

“Shale gas is an unconventional fossil fuel, which means that additional procedures are required to extract it beyond regular drilling. Many such unconventional sources of oil and gas were formerly too difficult (or uneconomic) to extract until recent advances in drilling technology. A combination of directional drilling and a process called hydraulic fracturing have made accessible large amounts of natural gas locked up in the tight pores of shale formations at depths of 2km or more. Successes in the United States have driven prospecting across Europedrilling began earlier this year in Lancashire. It is estimated that the UK could be producing around 10% of its current gas needs from shale if it can be extracted at a commercial rate.

Respondents are free to comment on any issues they consider relevant, although the Committee particularly welcomes evidence addressing the following:

  • What are the prospects for shale gas in the UK, and what are the risks of rapid depletion of shale gas resources?
  • What are the implications of large discoveries of shale gas around the world for UK energy and climate change policy?
  • What are the risks and hazards associated with drilling for shale gas?
  • How does the carbon footprint of shale gas compare to other fossil fuels?”

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