UK lifts moratorium on fracking in boost energy security

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UK lifts moratorium on fracking in boost energy security

The government has confirmed that it is lifting the moratorium on fracking in England, arguing it will help bolster energy security after Russia invades Ukraine.

In light of Vladimir Putin's illegal invasion of Ukraine and weaponisation of energy, strengthening our energy security is an absolute priority, and the prime minister said that the UK is going to be a net energy exporter by the year 2040.

To get there we need to explore all avenues available through solar, wind, oil and gas production, so it is right that we have lifted the pause to realise any potential sources of domestic gas. The ban meant that future applications would be considered where there is local support. Developers will need to have the necessary licences, permissions and consents in place before they can start operations, according to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Ministers also published the British Geological Survey's scientific review on shale gas extraction, which was commissioned earlier this year.

The review recognised that we have limited current understanding of UK geology and onshore shale resources, and the challenges of modelling geological activity in relatively complex geology sometimes found in UK shale locations.

It is clear that we need more sites drilled in order to gather better data and improve the evidence base, and we are aware that some developers are keen to assist with this process, according to a BEIS statement.

The pause on shale gas extraction will allow drilling to gather further data, as well as build an understanding of UK shale gas resources and how we can safely carry out shale gas extraction in the UK where local support is available. A new oil and gas licensing round is expected to be launched in early October by the North Sea Transition Authority.

More than 100 new licences are expected to be granted to search for oil and gas in the North Sea.