Fracking benefits should go to small companies says FSB


Allen Creedy, chairman of the Federation of Small Business (FSB) Energy, Water and Environment Policy Unit, has said the government must see to it that small and medium-sized businesses benefit from fracking if it goes ahead.

Mr Creedy told a meeting in Darlington that the government has failed small businesses with its renewables strategy and the same must not be allowed to happen with fracking.

He said: “As the Government seems to be pursuing fracking, we can’t afford to let this opportunity slip away from small and medium sized businesses. We don’t want the commercial benefits of fracking to go overseas.

“We need to make sure British businesses reap the rewards, otherwise we’re in danger of allowing all the benefits to go to firms in countries which don’t even do fracking.”

His position is closely aligned with that of the Onshore Energy Services Group (OESG).

In its policy paper ‘The crucial role of SMEs in making shale gas, and other forms of energy extraction, a British success story‘ the OESG points out that if British SMEs aren’t able to secure a fair share of the supply chain jobs on offer, there’s a real risk the industry will come to be dominated by overseas companies that fly their people and equipment in, and their profits home.  This would be a disaster for small companies, local jobs and the economy, and it would prevent Britain from maximising the benefits of onshore oil and gas just like it failed to maximise the jobs and supply chain benefits of offshore wind.

Lee Petts, chief executive at the OESG, said: “It’s reassuring to know that the FSB echoes our views on the importance of British SMEs, and we look forward to working with it to take these messages to Government.”