Enzygo Comments on the Energy Potential of Fracking in the UK

Pete Cumberlidge, Director at Enzygo, one of the UK’s leading environmental consultancies, believes that fracking could be the silver bullet to help solve many of the UK’s current energy needs. At Enzygo we are convinced that fracking has the potential to deliver a cheap and secure long-term supply of unconventional gas that would enable the UK to be self-sustainable for perhaps at least a century.

Enzygo, in its role as a specialist, multidisciplinary environmental consultancy, has already successfully secured for clients the only two UK fracking licences, both from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), for sites in Dumfries and Galloway. There were, however, put on hold whilst the Government pondered its decision on giving the green light to the hydrologic fracking market following the attribution of seismic activity to fracking operations in Blackpool in 2011. Following research conducted on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Control, and subsequent consultation with the Environment Agency, on 13 December 20012 the Secretary of State announced that exploratory hydraulic fracturing for shale gas could resume in the UK.

Regulatory requirements for operators seeking to obtain a Licence / Permit for fracking must also give due consideration to associated seismicity risks. The Regulators require a review of the information available for the area on seismic risk and any faults, a risk assessment, seismic monitoring before, during and after the fracturing process and the implementation of a “traffic light” system to help identify any unusual seismic activity that might require reassessment or suspension of operations. In order to safeguard our natural resources and ensure their sustainable management, operators will also be required to obtain a licence from the Environment Agency to abstract water for use in the drilling process.

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