Fresh fears for the nascent shale gas industry have emerged as freezing weather pushed Britain to the brink of running out of gas. The Government has publicly backed the burgeoning industry as a new source of secure domestic gas supplies but last week, on the eve of Britain’s tightest gas supply squeeze in a decade, energy minister Claire Perry poured fresh doubts over its future. Ms Perry said that figures suggesting there may be 155 wells across the UK by around 2025 are “now considered to be out of date”, despite being based on industry data that is less than two years old. Ms Perry threw the potential of UK shale into doubt just weeks after Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, put the brakes on Third Energy’s plans to frack a well near Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire. Development was halted to undertake financial checks on the company, which was four months late in publishing its accounts. The meagre 155-well estimate itself falls well below early claims that 4,000 wells would emerge by 2032 to bring a multibillion-pound investment boom to the UK, including 64,000 new jobs. The downgrade emerged in a Sunday Telegraph report last month after ministers had kept the findings under wraps for over a year.
Telegraph 3rd March 2018 read more »