Energy Secretary: Huge potential for shale gas development in UK
BY MELANIE CRUTHIRDS
LONDON -- The first Summer Reception for the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Unconventional Oil and Gas was held yesterday in Westminster. Speaking at the event, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Rt. Hon Edward Davey, MP, said the “potential is huge” for exploring unconventional oil and gas in the UK.
In his opening remarks, Dan Byles, MP, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group, thanked attendees from across the spectrum of views and interests for actively engaging in the debate. He also thanked the sponsors and the members of the advisory panel for the work achieved so far, before outlining plans for the group’s future activity.
Byles said, “Whilst I am in favor of developing UK shale gas resources, because of the evidence I have seen to date, this is not a pro-shale group. It is a group that will examine all the evidence carefully. Now is the time to lift up the stones and review the facts. This is an exciting time for the UK, and it is important that steps are taken to move forward and secure the UK’s position as a beacon of best practice.”
John Horgan, managing director for Europe/Middle East at URS Global Operations, the meeting’s sponsor, said, “Now is the time to start a constructive dialogue – there has been too much misinformation about shale gas recently. The North Sea shows that we can rise to the huge technological challenges, and we can regulate responsibly and safely. We can also learn from the U.S., both from their mistakes, but also from their great innovations and successes.”
Davey added that, “The potential is huge for shale gas development and presents great opportunities for the economy. We have learnt from the U.S. experience and recognize that this needs to be a whole government effort led by DECC. We need to get on with the experimental drilling, but the challenge remains for politicians, industry and the group to engage with the public. The package of community benefits will help with this engagement, but it is important to dispel the myths around exploration, but equally not fall into the trap of calling this the silver bullet solution.”