Find out everything you need to know about shale gas and fracking


Last week 70,000 Friends of the Earth supporters petitioned Barclays Bank to pull out of fracking. They’ve just heard that the chairman of Barclays has told shareholders that they are planning to pull their money out of Third Energy – the company that’s set its sights on fracking Yorkshire.

The movers and shakers of Barclays Bank are getting together next month for their annual general meeting (AGM).

Gayzer Frackman's  case will very likely be heard in March, quite possibly around the middle of the month, subject to finalisation by the court administrator. Hence, their dedicated legal team are now ramping up preparations of the essential case documentation required to be submitted in advance to the judge. They will advise the confirmed court dates as soon as they know.

The Yorkshire campaign against fracking has raised their initial target of £5,000 before the deadline! So they can go ahead with the Judicial Review of Government decison on fracking.

Gayzer Frackman, from Fylde in Lancashire, plans to challenge the Government's upcoming decision re allowing fracking in Blackpool, on climate change and human rights grounds.

The case, if successful, will stop fracking in Blackpool and help to stop fracking elsewhere in the UK.

Have your candidate MPs signed the Frack Free Promise and committed to oppose fracking if they're elected? Use this interactive map to find out.

A very important House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report Environmental risks of fracking was published on 21 January 2015 asking for a moratorium on fracking. The report summary says (in its own words. our emphasis):

The Infrastructure Bill includes a legal obligation on UK government to "maximise economic recovery of UK petroleum". in other words, get as much oil out of the ground as possible. Here's a sample letter to send to your MP, and more about the Bill...

The Government plans to change the law so that people cannot stop fracking firms drilling under our land and homes. WinACC is concerned about fracking because it releases more fossil fuel for us to burn, creating more greenhouse gas and adding to global warming. See our pages about shale gas and fracking.



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Find out everything you need to know about shale gas and fracking.

Fracking for shale gas has become very common in the USA, but it is beginning to be recognised there that there may be a price to pay in terms of pollution of aquifers and the air, the impact on water supplies, the contribution to climate change etc.

Southern England is underlain by two sedimentary basins  in which oil and gas have previously been discovered; 

the western Wessex Basin 

Two significant factors can be used to make a comparison. One is the carbon intensity (the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per kWh of generated heat or electricity) and the other is the energy returned on the energy invested (EROI) in getting the gas to the consumer.

 Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a technique that has been used for many years in the oil and gas industries for enhancing the productivity of wells.

Shale gas is a fossil fuel which releases the greenhouse gas CO2 when burnt.

After the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea in the late 1960s and 1970s the infrastructure was created to distribute and use gas around the UK. Today the UK relies on natural gas to a large extent for heating homes and offices, for cooking and for generating electricity.

Shale gas is an unconventional source of natural gas that has been known, and exploited to a limited extent, since the 19th century.

Leading climate scientists agree on the urgent need to drastically reduce carbon emissions on a global scale.

Discussions about energy and fossil fuels often involve scientific and technical terms, below are some simple definitions of the more complicated or unfamiliar vocabulary relating to unconventional hydrocarbons in energy production:


Parent topic

Find out about the science of climate change and the views of scientists.

Fracking (shale gas)

small fracking rigIn recent years, the prospect of a UK shale gas revolution has been heralded as the solution to our security

Paul Mobbs, who has considerable expertise on the impact of shale gas exploitation in the US, has written this response on the potential impact of shale gas exploitation on health in local communities in England.