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Hydraulic Fracturing: The UK moratorium is lifted, but opposition grows

  • April 2014
  • -
  • MarketLine
  • -
  • 29 pages

Summary

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Introduction

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique that has been used to blast holes in rock layers containing gas reserves allowing the gas to be extracted. Recent discoveries of huge gas pockets such as the Marcellus Shale in the US and Bowland Shale in the UK mean that energy companies have been employing the technique on a never–before-seen scale to extract gas.

Features and benefits

* A detailed description of what the new process involves and how it is completed.
* Analysis of the key UK players, where their sites are and where the key test sites for future licences are occurring.
* A look at how common unconventional wells are worldwide, looking at the USA, Australia, Poland and France.
* Analysis of why there was a moratorium imposed and why numerous groups and political parties are so set against allowing the process to proliferate.
* Looking at what is likely to happen in the UK market and whether profit can be made in such difficulties, with direct action against the companies.

Highlights

After a fairly disastrous start to unconventional gas supplies in the UK from a public relations point of view, the governmental moratorium has been lifted and operations are starting again. The areas under approval for fracking are extensive and expanding.
There are a number of environmental concerns that are growing in strength as more data becomes available from the USA. The contents of the fracking fluid, leaking wells, release of radioactive material, air pollution, health concerns and destruction of the environment are all problems putting doubt on the process.
Some countries, such as the USA and Australia, adopted the process very early on when it became a possibility that new gas reserves could be tapped and their energy industry has exploded with new exploration activity. However other countries, such as France, have straight out banned the process.

Your key questions answered

* What is fracking and unconventional drilling and how does this differ to existing technology?
* Has the process been shown to be profitable and worth while overall in the countries it has been tried?
* What are the negative impacts that cause some countries to ban the process?
* What companies are involved in the UK and what is the view of the public and the government on the process?
* Is the process likely to go ahead in the UK and could it be profitable?

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