Thank you for contacting me about fracking.
Ministers maintained that fracking should only proceed if the science shows that it is safe, sustainable and minimises disturbances to local communities.
In 2019 the Oil & Gas Authority, an independent regulator, found that it was not possible to accurately predict the probability or magnitude of earthquakes linked to fracking. As a result, the Government immediately announced a moratorium on fracking in England. This position will be maintained unless compelling new evidence is provided which addresses the concerns around the prediction and management of induced seismicity.
The wholesale price of gas and energy has increased in the UK and Europe due to various factors, including an increase in demand as economies across the globe reopened after lockdowns. In light of Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine, which has also contributed to further global gas price rises, the Prime Minister has been clear that it’s right we move away from dependence on Russian gas and increase self-reliance with our energy sources.
The Government is considering all options; it has always been clear that it will be open to shale gas exploration if it can be done in a safe and sustainable way. Therefore I welcome that the Government has commissioned the British Geological Survey to advise on the latest scientific evidence around shale gas extraction. This request has been made to simply assess if any progress has been made in the scientific understanding of fracking. However, the moratorium will remain unless the latest scientific evidence demonstrates that shale gas extraction can be safe, sustainable and of minimal disturbance to communities. In addition, I am reassured by my ministerial colleagues that any exploration or development of shale gas would need to meet rigorous safety and environmental protections both above ground and sub-surface.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking