More than 50% of UK suitable for fracking, report says

More than 50% of land in the UK could contain shale gas suitable for extraction through fracking, according to a new government commissioned report.

Energy companies are reportedly interested in new shale gas licences and up to 150 applications are expected, which could result in shale gas operations covering 15% of the UK.

Fracking involves using a combination of high pressure water and chemicals to crack subterranean rocks to release shale gas deposits.

Under the maximum scenario, almost two thirds of Britain could be opened up to fracking, with around 2,800 wells drilled, generating 16,000 – 32,000 jobs, according to the report by consultants Amec.

But fracking would dramatically increase the number of gas tankers on British roads and squeeze local water supplies.

Amec also warned that the billions of litres of polluted wastewater produced by a large shale gas industry “could place a significant burden on existing wastewater treatment capacity”.

A separate government report, published yesterday, said that communities willing to accept fracking could see up to £1bn of financial incentives and revenues.

But Keith Taylor, the Green party’s MEP for south-east England, said to the Guardian: “In reality, many people will be unwilling to accept air pollution, noisy trucks, gas flaring and potential water contamination in exchange for the government’s bribe.”

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