Fracking Facts

Discover the real fracking facts!

Natural Gas Drilling
Photo by Daniel Foster

Want to know what is really happening with shale gas and fracking in the UK? Here’s some fracking facts that you might find hard to believe.

  • Hydraulic fracking has only really began In the UK since 2007 and was partially suspended during 2011-12 due to earthquakes and environmental concerns.
  • 100% of business tax proceeds from shale gas in the UK are given over to local councils vs. the normal 50%.
  • It is believed that China has the most amount of potential shale gas currently in the world this is followed by Argentina and then Algeria (see the map for other locations).
  • The amount of damage to the environment in terms of emissions from shale gas is estimated to be similar to the amount of damage caused by natural gas. Although there is much debate in this area as to whether or not it is better to the environment than other forms of standard energy production.
  • An increase in shale gas production could potentially release western countries from the power grip that middle eastern countries currently hold.

More facts that you didn’t know about fracking

  • Shale gas has been known about for over one hundred years but it has only really become economical within the last 15 years.
  • The following environment damage can potentially be caused by shale gas and hydraulic fracturing: earthquakes, releasing of greenhouse gases, chemical polluting water supplies and landscape damage.
  • Large areas of mountains and forests can become polluted or radically altered so that shale gas exploitation can occur. Attempts to unpolluted and heal these areas of land have only been partially successful.
  • The Bowland Basin is the main area in the UK where wells have been drilled specifically for shale gas but was temporarily stopped when two small earthquakes were detected. However, later on a large deposit of shale gas was discovered in Lancashire.
  • The next area that will begin exploration in the UK is the Weald Basin started in 2014.
  • It is difficult to currently estimate the size of shale gas available in the UK but it has been described by Tim Yeo as a game changer.
  • The basin gas basins are been reported to be harder to drill at and more difficult to fracture than other basins around the world and also because the UK is more densely populated.
  • There is a certain amount to fracking in the UK from a number of environmental groups such as ‘Frack Off’ and one of their major protests was in Balcombe.
  • Political issues for the Conservative party in the UK are that on the one hand they want to serve corporate interests but on the other hand a large number of voters reside in areas of potential shale gas exploration.