Response to the Ferret/38 Degrees ‘investigation’

28 May 2017

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG, the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry:

"It is wrong for others to continually create fear in the general public when extensive research has been done by many independent and respected UK and international based bodies and academic institutions including for the Scottish Government, all pointing to a low level of risk in a properly regulated industry."

"Hydraulic fracturing, (fracking), is a technique that has been used around the world, including the North Sea, by the oil and gas industry for over 60 years. The UK regulatory system looks at all sources of potential hazards. Where there is, the risk will be avoided or mitigation implemented to remove or reduce the risk. For example the Environmental Regulator would not authorise the use of hazardous chemicals and the use of silica, which is not unique to our industry, is already regulated through health and safety legislation which the industry must comply with."

"Looking at the experience of what happened in other countries is specious if it doesn't take into account the clear differences of the UK industry with its own its mode of operation, underlying geology and regulatory environment. Like the GMB, UKOOG asks that we have a balanced and rational debate about Scotland's future energy strategy. One that recognises the importance of security of supply, employment and the role of gas in lowering carbon emissions."

UKOOG responded to the Scottish Government consultation:

  • The overall conclusion of the research was that the evidence reviewed was judged not to be of adequate quality, consistency or statistical power to demonstrate a hazard or health risk. This conclusion is supported by a previous study by Public Health England for the UK Government.
  • Given the fear created by our detractors about the impact of the industry's planned activities on the health of children we would like to particularly draw attention to the following key parts of the research:
    - The evidence for a link between UOG activities and physician-reported high-risk pregnancy is inadequate.
    - The evidence for an association between UOG exposure and reproductive and developmental effects is weak.
    - There was 'inadequate' evidence to suggest that UOG activities, particularly drilling, were associated with a risk of increased incidence of childhood cancer.
    - There was 'inadequate' evidence to suggest that UOG activities were associated with a risk of neurological, cardiovascular or dermatological effects.


Newgate Communications: Andrew Turner
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Notes to editors

About UKOOG:

UKOOG is the representative body for the UK onshore oil and gas industry, including exploration, production and storage. The organisation's objectives are to enhance the profile of the onshore industry, promote better and more open dialogue with key stakeholders, deliver industry wide initiatives and programmes and to ensure standards in safety, the environment and operations are maintained to the highest possible level. Membership is open to all companies active in the onshore industry including those involved in the supply chain.