UK Shale Gas Summit 2016

Posted by Dr Mark Broomfield on 28 September 2016

I’ll be attending the UK Shale Gas Summit at Manchester Airport in a couple of weeks . The conference programme looks very interesting, and I’m looking forward to contributing to a panel discussion on planning issues.

The timing of the panel debate is good. It feels to me that we now have something new to talk regarding UK Shale Gas after a long period without tangible progress. It will be particularly good timing if the Secretary of State’s decision regarding the application for exploratory shale gas drilling in Lancashire is published, as expected, by 6 October 2016. There may also be news beginning to emerge from the Scottish Government’s research programme in which we at Ricardo are involved (click here for more details).

I think there are a few key topics for starters for ten would include:

•  Will delay and uncertainty in the planning process choke the UK shale gas industry before its really got started?

•  What lessons can the shale gas industry learn from the waste to energy industry, in gaining acceptance for unpopular but important development?

• Despite the high profile given to issues such as seismicity, climate change mitigation and water resources, the Cuadrilla Lancashire applications were rejected in 2015 on the more familiar grounds of visual impact, noise and traffic. What are likely to be the key issues for future applications and how should these be handled by applicants, local authority officers and decision-makers?

•  Should we all just go and do something else until the gas price rises again?

It’s going to be an interesting debate! I hope to see you there, do come and say hello as I’d love to hear your perspective.

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