UKOOG response to reintroduction of moratorium
28th October 2022
Commenting on the decision to reintroduce the moratorium on the issuing of hydraulic fracturing consents, Charles McAllister, Director at UK Onshore Oil and Gas said:
“UKOOG and its members are deeply frustrated and disappointed by the Government’s energy policy U-turn in reintroducing the moratorium on the issue of hydraulic facture consents. This, in the middle of an energy crisis, means that the country is further away than ever from achieving any form of energy independence.
The Government’s repeated U-turns in an area as fundamental as energy, the foundation of our economy, signifies that the UK is closed for business and that ideology, fiction and political weather outcompetes reason, fact and reality. It is now clear that neither of the major political parties in the UK has a credible gas supply plan out to 2050, while all reasonable forecasts recognise a significant natural gas demand for many decades to come.
The re-introduction of this moratorium shows that the Government favours an illogical ‘fingers crossed’ approach to meet our gas needs, an approach that has led us into the ongoing energy crisis. Costlier, more carbon intensive and less secure imports are being favoured and this perverse decision will come at great economic, environmental and geopolitical cost.
In other jurisdictions, with comparable geology and many of which supply gas to the UK, a thriving shale gas industry has created billions in investment, billions in tax revenues, hundreds of millions in community benefits and energy independence which means that natural gas prices are consistently 10% to 25% of the price in the UK. At the same time these jurisdictions have significantly reduced their carbon emissions.
The Government has now taken a conscious decision to throw away the chance to see £33 billion of investment into the North of England, creating tens of thousands of well-paid and skilled jobs, tax, community benefits and energy security. Instead, it has decided to hold itself to ransom in the international gas markets.
The Government will have to clearly explain to households and industry why a decision was made to abandon a world class resource under our feet. It will also have to explain to households in Northern England why they are losing out on hundreds of millions in community benefits.
The Government’s position effectively condones a non-uniform regulatory environment. The British Geological Survey stated clearly that there was an inconsistent framework for the regulation of seismicity, where sectors such as the geothermal, construction and quarrying industry can create greater levels of surface vibration than the shale gas industry.
It is regrettable that this most recent U-Turn rejects the continually offered alternative path of science and observation by means of a closely monitored demonstration project; a path that remains open to government”
For media enquiries contact Charles
Tel: 0203 3975 637