PM Cameron says shale gas rules must be simplified

LONDON Fri Oct 25, 2013 3:32pm BST

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels October 25, 2013. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels October 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

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LONDON (Reuters) - Britain must simplify regulations governing shale gas extraction or fracking to speed up the development of an energy source that has helped to transform the U.S. market, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Friday.

"On fracking, we do need to take action across the board to help enable this technology to go ahead," Cameron told a news conference in Brussels after a meeting of European leaders.

"There is a worry people are going to have to go through so many different permits in order to start fracking that they simply won't bother, so we need a simplified system."

Under pressure to do more to bring down rising consumer energy costs, Cameron has repeatedly urged the country to "get behind fracking", a technology he says would bring down bills and create tens of thousands of jobs.

Britain is thought to have big shale gas reserves, but opponents of the process say it can trigger small earthquakes, cause pollution and contaminate the water supply.

Operators who want to drill a well to look for gas need a licence from the energy ministry, permission from the Mineral Planning Authority and an Environment Agency permit. They must go through the process again if they decide to start production.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, retrieves gas and oil trapped in tight-layered rock formations by injecting high-pressure water, sand and chemicals. There have been protests this year in southern England over fracking.

High energy costs have also prompted a political debate in Britain over whether the government is doing enough to help squeezed households.

(Reporting by Adrian Croft; Writing by Peter Griffiths; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

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Comments (2)
ragamala2 wrote:
If Mr Cameron is under pressure regarding energy bills it is hardly surprising, as his go-ahead for new nuclear reactors guaranteed to double wholesale energy costs as well as commit the UK taxpayer to a future of billions in debt to French and Chinese interests.

Cameron can not look to shale to bail him out of a moral and financial hole. He can only expect us to despise his honesty and credibility as anyone (remember the greenest government ever pledge?)remotely concerned with a secure environmental future. He is totally discredited. A desperate character we shall not have long to worry about.

Oct 25, 2013 4:16pm BST  --  Report as abuse
mgb500 wrote:
PM Cameron says shale gas rules must be simplified

Is that so his cronies can gain greater benefit….I think Shelfstacker Osborne’s father in law comes to mind?

Oct 27, 2013 12:04pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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