Fracking industry could be ‘unviable’

Materials World magazine
11 Apr 2018
Fracking has been the target of protests.

Doubts have been raised as to the viability of the UK’s fracking industry, following the government’s refusal to release an internal report.

Campaigners have urged the UK government to show transparency and release a report forecasting the number of fracking wells that could be developed across the country.

The Implementation Unit Report on Shale Gas, created in 2016, suggests a total of 155 wells could be drilled by 2025.

However, the government is yet to release details in full, despite a freedom of information request. In its response, it said, ‘The British shale gas industry is still an emerging market. Release of information from 2016, even with the passage of time, could call into question the industry’s viability. 

‘The requested information was classified as confidential and commercially sensitive, and includes confidential commercial information shared with the government by third parties.’

The decision has been criticised by campaigners, with Greenpeace’s UK Head of Energy Hannah Martin stating that ‘people have a right to know’. Martin added, ‘The fracking industry must be in an even worse state than we suspected if ministers think the publication of a 2016 report could single-handedly throw its viability into question.

‘Whatever this report shows, people have a right to know. We have all heard for years about the imaginary jobs, investment and benefits fracking was supposed to bring – now it's time to look at the facts. Let's publish the report, let's debate the facts and let people make their minds up.'