Britain lifts shale gas ban, imposes tighter rules
December 13, 2012, 5:18 pm
By Oleg Vukmanovic
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain lifted its ban on shale gas exploration on Thursday as it aims to become a European leader in a sector that has transformed the U.S. energy market and counter a fall in the UK's natural gas production.
The green light on shale gas fracking from Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey comes approximately a year and a half after UK authorities halted the unconventional exploration after the process set off earth tremors at one site.
"I am in principle prepared to consent to new fracking proposals for shale gas, where all other necessary permissions and consents are in place," Davey said in a ministerial statement.
Europe's largest gas consumer, Britain in May 2011 put a temporary stop to hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" for shale gas, a process in which water and chemicals are injected at high pressure into rock formations to retrieve trapped gas, after earth tremors were measured near a fracking site close to Blackpool.