The UK’s Department of Energy & Climate Change has said that by removing barriers to deep underground drilling access, it is speeding up oil and gas and deep geothermal energy exploration.
According to a recent statement, the department has said that now, more than ever, the UK needs secure domestic energy supplies. Since 2003, as North Sea Oil has declined, the UK has become a net importer of oil and gas and are now increasingly dependent on international energy resources and believes “it is essential that we make the most of home-sourced energy and start exploring the natural energy supplies beneath our feet.”
“Our vision for Britain is for a prosperous low carbon future, which is why we have made record investment in renewables. Renewable electricity capacity has more than doubled under this government, the number of homes with solar panels on their roofs has risen from 15,000 to more than 500,000 and we have been ranked the world number one for offshore wind,” it added.
“We know there’s more to do. We know that our journey towards a low carbon future will take time and that emerging energy industries often need government support to get going. That’s why, alongside a further £40 billion of renewable investment running into 2020 we are exploring for shale gas.”
By removing barriers to deep underground drilling access, the government is speeding up oil and gas and deep geothermal energy exploration to bolster national energy security and it is introducing legislation so oil and gas and geothermal companies will be able to use underground land but only below 300m (1,000ft). These companies will still need to obtain all the necessary regulatory permissions, like planning and environmental permits.
Business and Energy Minister Matt Hancock said: “Exploring the natural energy resources beneath our feet, within a robust regulatory framework, is important for our national energy security and helps create jobs. These new rules will help Britain to explore the great potential of our national shale gas and geothermal resources, as we work towards a greener future – and open up thousands of new jobs in doing so.”
Greenhouse gas emissions from the production and use of shale gas would be comparable to conventional natural gas, but the controversial energy source actually faired better than renewables on some environmental impacts, according to new research by the University of Manchester.