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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

News

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme interviews Professor Richard Davies

(26 June 2013)

On the eve of the Government releasing information on how it wants communities to be rewarded if they are affected by fracking, and the publication of the Governments estimate of UK shale gas resources, the Today Programme interviewed the DEI’s Prof. Richard Davies. In response to optimistic claims by companies in the UK to the amount of available shale gas he urges caution, highlighting the difference between existing shale gas and the actual amount that can be effectively extracted.

In December last year shale gas exploitation was given the go ahead in the UK by the Government. In the coming days the Government is to outline how it wants communities close to fracking wells to be rewarded and is due to publish an estimate of the amount of shale gas available in the UK based on the British geological survey.

In response to optimistic claims by companies in the UK to the amount of available shale gas Richard Davies urges caution, highlighting the difference between existing shale gas and the actual amount that can be effectively extracted.

To hear more visit http://bbc.in/194OeeD (The shale gas story is 48.52 minutes into the programme).

BBC Radio 4’s Today programme explored the questions behind shale gas fracturing the process where water is injected into shale rock to pushes out oil and gas. The big question is how much shale oil and gas does Britain have? IGas and others have been claiming the UK could recover enough shale gas to move import dependency out for 10 to 15 years, and that by 2030 the UK could cover 20 to 80 percent of its gas demand.

Professor Richard Davies urges caution and said:

 “There is a huge difference between what are called ‘resources’, which is the amount of gas theoretically underground and the other R word, which is ‘reserve’, which is the amount of gas that can be brought to the surface. Although the rocks may be there they may not fracture quite the way that is anticipated and if they don’t fracture well and some people use the word ‘fracability’, actually that gas won’t come out, it will remain under the ground as a resource and will never be produced”