Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

Britain denies report of big shale plans
by Staff Writers
London (UPI) Dec 3, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

British officials have denied a report indicating energy ministers are preparing to open 60 percent of the countryside to a shale natural gas exploration boom.

A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change issued a statement Saturday calling the report in The Independent "nonsense."

"It is too early to assess the potential for shale gas but the suggestion more than 60 percent of the U.K. countryside could be exploited is nonsense," the department said in statement.

The Independent's report indicated that based on DECC maps it had obtained, "more than 32,000 square miles -- or 64 percent of the countryside -- could potentially be exploited for shale gas and is being considered for exploration licenses."

The newspaper said the maps included "vast swathes" in the South of England, the Northwest, Northeast and the Central Belt in Scotland.

"There is a big difference between the amount of shale gas that might exist and what can be extracted," the agency spokesman said. "We have commissioned the British Geological Survey to do an assessment of the U.K.'s shale gas resources, which will report its findings next year."

The article came as anti-shale gas protests were carried out around Britain Saturday in anticipation of a statement from Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne this week on the government's position regarding support for shale gas.

The government imposed a moratorium on the hydraulic fracturing drilling process used in shale gas production after energy company Cuadrilla Resources was determined to have started minor earthquakes by drilling last year in Lancashire, England.

Cuadrilla issued a report confirming it was "highly probable" that a 2.3-magnitude tremor and a 1.5-magnitude quake felt in near Blackpool in April and May 2011 were due to "fracking" at the company's shale gas wells there.

Under the process, rocks are fractured thousands of feet underground using high-pressure water, sand and chemicals to free natural gas trapped in the formations.

The procedure has come under heavy criticism from environmentalists, who say it has the potential to pollute groundwater as well as cause earthquakes.

That moratorium will be lifted soon by British Energy Secretary Ed Davey, paving the way for Osborne to announce the creation a new Office for Shale Gas to coordinate and speed up production in a "dash for gas," the newspaper said.

About 300 protesters gathered in London, laying a mock pipeline in Grosvenor Square from the Canadian High Commission to the U.S. Embassy, later marching to Parliament Square, where they erected an imitation 23-foot "fracking rig," the BBC reported.

Another protest was in Somerset in southwestern England, where four shale gas exploration licenses have been granted, ITV reported.

"Fracking for shale gas and coal bed methane is an uneconomical and 'eco-cidal' attempt to address Britain's critical energy needs," Vanessa Vine of the protest group Britain and Ireland Frack Free said in a statement. "Landscapes would be despoiled, water courses irreparably contaminated and we would have poured countless tons of methane and CO2 into the atmosphere."

The group called on British Prime Minister David Cameron to "stand by his claim of leading the 'greenest government ever'" and order an immediate ban on "this unintelligent and short-sighted dash for gas," investing instead in "safe and truly renewable energy generation."


Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

China opposes US bill on island dispute
Beijing (AFP) Dec 3, 2012
China on Monday branded a US-Japan security treaty "a product of the Cold War" after Washington reaffirmed its commitment to Japan in its territorial dispute with China over the Senkaku Islands, known in Chinese as the Diaoyus. The amendment, attached to the National Defense Authorization Bill, noted that while the United States "takes no position" on the ultimate sovereignty of the territor ... read more

WSU researchers use 3-D printer to make parts from moon rock

China's Chang'e-3 to land on moon next year

Moon crater yields impact clues

Study: Moon basin formed by giant impact

Opportunity Gets to Work on Interesting Rock Targets

Opportunity Gets To Work On Interesting Rock

Regional Dust Storm Dissipating

One Year After Launch, Curiosity Rover Busy on Mars

Voyager discovers 'magnetic highway' at edge of solar system

Why Study Plants in Space?

Who's Killing the Space Program?

Fly me to the universe

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Spacewalks on agenda for new space crew

NASA, Roscosmos Assign Veteran Crew to Yearlong Space Station Mission

Three ISS crew return to Earth in Russian capsule

Station Crew Off Duty After Undocking

S. Korea readies new bid to join global space club

Arianespace Lofts Pleiades 1B Using Soyuz Medium-lift launcher

Japan Schedules Radar Satellite Launch

Arianespace ready for next Soyuz and Ariane missions

Brown Dwarfs May Grow Rocky Planets

Astronomers report startling find on planet formation

A Sky Full of Planets

Low-mass planets make good neighbours for debris discs

Schriever squadrons assure safe passage in space domain

Americans love (and hate) their mobile phones: survey

New York art museum to display video games

The music of the silks

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement