The ban on fracking in England has recently been removed by new Prime Minister Liz Truss, who claims that fracking could ‘get gas flowing in as soon as six months’. But while fracking companies pushing for licences are claiming that they can extract gas in a matter of months, the Chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, acknowledged earlier this year that it could take up to a decade for shale gas to make a sufficient contribution to domestic supply in the UK. Even then, as he acknowledged, this gas would be sold to international markets and would not bring down local prices. “Additional UK production won’t materially affect the wholesale market price. This includes fracking – UK producers won’t sell shale gas to UK consumers below the market price. They’re not charities.”
Ban on fracking
Until recently, there has been little written about fracking since it was banned in England in November 2019, following widespread concern over minor earthquakes at a test site in Lancashire. The Scottish and Welsh governments have had a policy of opposing fracking since 2015 and there have also been moves to ban it in Northern Ireland. However, now that the government is under pressure to deal with the energy crisis, fracking is being held up as part of the solution in certain circles, even though there is little hard evidence to show that it would deliver sufficient quantities or lower prices, and it certainly wouldn’t take us any closer to our net zero goals.