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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute


Long term monitoring of UK Shale Gas wells essential

(4 June 2013)

Shale Gas fracture image

Extracting shale gas from shale using hydraulic fracturing

In an interview on BBC News about UK Shale Gas reserves, Professor Davies stressed the importance of long term monitoring of the large amount of wells that are likely to be required in the UK.

Professor Richard J. Davies, Non Executive Chair Durham Energy Institute, was interviewed on the BBC News at 6 and 10 on Monday 3rd July in response to announcements by the company iGas that estimates of its resources in north-west England are considerably higher than previously thought and could meet gas consumption in Britain for decades.

The announcement triggered media references to renewed fears of negative environmental impacts resulting from shale gas fracking such as water contamination and felt earthquakes.

However Richard Davies stated that:

“The research we have done here at Durham has been quite clear the chance of fracking causing the contamination of water is very limited indeed and also the chance of significant earthquakes is very limited. I think the challenge is that there will be a need for a lot wells and those wells will have to be checked and monitored for our children and children’s children. It will be important to ensure the wells don’t leak during production and after they are plugged and abandoned.” 

To watch the story on BBC News at 10 and Professor Davies’s interview go to 


Further information:

Researching Fracking in Europe

Durham Energy Institute: Shale Gas research

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