An inquiry by the Welsh Affairs Committee in Parliament has been exploring the potential impacts development in the shale gas industry in Wales will have on local communities, from both an economic and environmental perspective.
The inquiry concluded that shale gas represents an opportunity for Wales but that this must not be at the expense of Wales's natural environment.
A test rig drilling for in Lancashire. In 2011 a study found it "highly probable" that shale gas test drilling in the county had triggered minor earth tremors
To read the report and for more information click here
Natural gas forms a key part of the UK's energy supply, and is important not only for electricity production, but also for domestic heating, cooking and industrial production. In recent years, the UK has become increasingly dependent on gas imports and, based on current trends, the Government forecasts that nearly 70% of the UK's gas supply will be imported by 2025. We note the growing dependence of Western Europe on gas supplies from countries that may be subject to political instability. We consider it to be vital that the UK identifies new sources of gas if it is to safeguard the UK's security of supply.
Shale gas production in Wales, as elsewhere in the UK, is currently at the exploratory stage. There is currently a lack of data regarding the amount of shale gas in Wales. Should considerable reserves of shale gas be present—as industry representatives predict—it could be a decade before a viable shale gas industry is created in Wales.