OESG welcomes timely 14th Round fracking announcement

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The UK Oil and Gas Authority today announced the award of new onshore petroleum exploration and production licences (PEDLs) as part of the 14th Landward Licensing Round.

Lee Petts, chief executive at the Onshore Energy Services Group, welcomed the news: “The global deal to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions, signed at the recent COP21 climate talks in Paris, means we now have a lot of work to do if the UK is to play its part in achieving the reductions needed to keep global temperature rises limited to 2 degrees Celsius or less.

“Switching from coal to homegrown natural gas in electricity generation, alongside nuclear and renewables, is a sure and certain way to start making carbon reduction gains whilst simultaneously improving air quality for millions of people.

“But we need to do more to find out if and how much natural gas can be produced from our onshore resources, including from shale and extracted by fracking. Today’s announcement is a timely and welcome step in the right direction.¬†Supply chain SMEs will be particularly pleased with the news and the prospect of increased orders in the next few years as activity gathers pace.”

The OESG also welcomes the news that planned government cuts to subsidies for small-scale solar on homes have been watered down. They will now be reduced by just 64% and not the 87% previously indicated.

“Natural gas and renewables can and should co-exist. We believe in an all-of-the-above solution to meeting our energy needs, with the exception of unabated coal-fired power generation,” says Petts.

Over 2 million jobs are thought to depend on natural gas in the UK. It is used as a raw material to produce the chemical building-blocks for plastics, for industrial process heating, and at around 84% penetration, heats over 19 million homes.

Earlier this week, DECC Chief Scientist Professor John Loughhead said: “Securing the UK’s energy future remains one of our biggest challenges. We need to explore avenues to clean energy based on the evidence we have, which shows that gas will play a role in years to come. We must explore the role of shale gas in our wider energy mix alongside new nuclear capacity and wind projects if we are to address this challenge.”