28th June 2014
Transcripts of the last week of parliamentary debates and questions on fracking and shale gas and oil
- Michael Fallon says shale gas emissions likely to be lower than those from imported LNG or European gas
With thanks to theyworkforyou.com
Written question by Stephen O’Brien (Eddisbury, Conservative)
To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment he has made of:
(a) the extent to which the future use of shale gas could reduce carbon emissions and
(b) how this could contribute to the Government’s target for an 80 per cent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
Answer by Michael Fallon (The Minister of State, for Energy and Climate Change; Sevenoaks, Conservative)
In September 2013, DECC published a study by Professor David MacKay and Dr Tim Stone which gathered the available evidence on the potential greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from shale gas production and use in the UK and discusses the compatibility of shale gas production and use with UK and global climate change targets.
The study concluded that with the right safeguards in place the net effect on GHG emissions from shale gas production in the UK will be relatively small. Indeed emissions from the production and transport of UK shale gas are likely to be lower than imported liquefied natural gas and gas piped from outside Europe, which shale gas is expected to replace.
DECC’s Gas Generation Strategy (2012) and Heat Strategy (2013) both set out the important role gas has to play to maintain adequate capacity margins, meet demand and provide supply-side flexibility while keeping emissions within the limits set out in the carbon budgets to 2030 and beyond.
We need further drilling and testing to establish how much shale gas will be recoverable, but it is likely that domestically produced shale gas would contribute to the overall natural gas mix that is used for both heat and electricity generation, replacing some imported and slightly higher carbon liquefied natural gas.