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Fracking Week in Westminster (5th-9th May)

10th May 2014

Transcripts of the last week of parliamentary questions and statements on fracking and shale gas

With thanks to theyworkforyou.com

Question by Roger Godsiff (Birmingham, Hall Green, Labour)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change whether hydraulic fracturing will be permitted to take place under property where the owner’s consent has not been given.

Answer from energy minister, Michael Fallon
Shale gas and oil operations involve hydraulic fracturing in wells drilled over a mile below the surface. At that depth it is highly unlikely that there will be any negative impact closer to the surface.

Like most other industrial activities, oil and gas operations require permission from landowners to access their land in order to reach mineral deposits.

Operators prefer where possible to agree this through negotiation with the landowner, but there is an existing legal route by which they can apply for access where this cannot be negotiated. In this respect, it is already possible for an operator to gain access to land for the extraction of oil or gas without a landowner’s permission through the courts.

The Government is considering whether these existing procedures used to obtain access are fit for purpose in relation to underground land. We have not yet made a decision on what actions we may take.

Question by Lord Jenkin of Roding (Conservative)
My Lords, is not the Question of my noble friend Lord Higgins [on reducing dependence on Russian gas] extremely timely given yesterday’s publication of a very important report by the Economic Affairs Committee? It made the point that the rapid and effective development of shale gas in this country is one of the real steps that we could take to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian gas. Can we assume an early acceptance of the very important recommendations of this report?

Answer from Baroness Verma (Conservative)
My Lords, my noble friend is absolutely right. The report will be considered fully but we agree with my noble friend that shale gas will play a huge part if it can be explored properly and we get from it the full potential that we expect.

Question by Lord Lawson of Blaby (Conservative)
My Lords, I welcome my noble friend Lord Jenkin’s point about the important report by this House’s Economic Affairs Committee published today on shale gas and our indigenous resources. This is a massive opportunity for this country. Does the Minister agree with the committee that unless the Government streamline the regulatory system and unless they get their act together, this massive opportunity will not be realised?

Answer from Baroness Verma (Conservative)
My Lords, my noble friend is right to raise the benefits of shale, but he will also be aware that we are looking at streamlining. We have streamlined the process. We are also reducing the tax on the proportion of a company’s production from 62% to 30% at current rates. The Government are doing a lot to be able to ensure that those hurdles that may hinder the exploration of shale gas are removed, but we need to follow proper procedures and ensure that we also look at all the environmental impacts of shale exploration.

2 replies »

  1. Thank you Ruth…wish there was a ‘don’t like’ like button!

    Here we have it…a blind eye to eco-devastation…they want it so badly they would bring on world War 3 to justify it!

    See you in June!

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