UK lifts ban on shale gas exploration | Environmental news

The UK has lifted a ban on mining, a controversial method of extracting fossil fuels, in an attempt to boost oil and gas production in the wake of Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Britain has officially lifted a ban on shale gas exploration that took effect in 2019, saying boosting the country’s energy supply is an “absolute priority”.

Business and Energy Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg said all energy sources need to be explored, “so it is true that we have lifted the pause to realize any potential gas sources in the country”.

“In the light of [Russian President Vladimir] “The illegal invasion of Ukraine and the weaponization of energy, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority,” Putin said.

Fracking, a process that blasts water, sand and chemicals underground at high pressure to release oil and shale gas, has been banned after industry regulators said the intensity of the storm could not be predicted. earthquakes it can cause.

Under the rules, mining operations are halted every time it triggers an earthquake of magnitude 0.5 or higher, a level that scientists say will need to be increased if Britain is to mining industry development.

An assessment of tolerable seismic activity said Thursday that limited exploration to date means that an understanding of the risks is incomplete.

The government says ending the ban will allow drilling to restart and collect more data and build research on how to safely extract shale gas with local support.

In a statement, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) confirmed support for a new round of oil and gas licensing next month for 100 new licenses.

It also published the UK Geological Survey’s scientific assessment of shale gas extraction, which was commissioned earlier this year.

“The review finds that we have limited current understanding of the UK’s onshore shale geology and resources, and the challenges of modeling geological activity in relatively complex geology. occasionally found in UK shale sites,” the statement noted.

Environmentalists have accused Truss of resisting his predecessor Boris Johnson’s firm pledge to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, arguing that the process pollutes the source. supplies water, hurts wildlife, causes earthquakes and contributes to global climate change.

Government spokesman Max Blain stressed that Truss is “committed to net zero”, but getting there “really involves using transitional fuels like oil and gas.”

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