14Sep / 2016
The government recently published the Shale Wealth Fund consultation document. In it they set out the case for the safe and sustainable exploration and development of UK shale gas resources.
The consultation is in response to a clear national need for energy self-sufficiency but also to deliver up to £1 billion of funding to those communities in which these resources are developed. The government sees natural gas as a clean, safe and secure transition fuel to a low carbon economy that is needed for heat, electricity and industry. It is believed that a successful shale gas industry could provide a potential cumulative investment of £33 billion and the creation of up to 64,500 jobs.
The consultation focuses on the delivery methods and priorities of a Shale Wealth Fund, including:
- Potential delivery models for the Shale Wealth Fund, to ensure that households and communities benefit
- The allocation of funding from the Shale Wealth Fund to different stakeholder groups
- The extent to which the industry community benefits scheme and the Shale Wealth Fund should be aligned
- How funds should be processed and administered
The government states it is committed to ensuring that local communities are fully involved in planning decisions that affect them. They now seek to put the right framework in place for regions and households that host these operations to benefit directly from a share of the revenues that come from shale gas production.
The development of shale gas is seen as an extension of the well established onshore oil and gas industry that has been active in the UK for over sixty years. UK operations in this industry are renowned for being some of the most tightly regulated in the world. Applying strict rules and regulations on the shale industry, including the insistence on measuring baseline conditions of any proposed site and methane monitoring in the air and ground water for a minimum of 12 months, facilitates practices that are conducted with accountability. Providing that these high standards of environmental monitoring are conducted before, during and post-operation, the practice of onshore oil and gas exploration in the UK will continue to be exemplary.
Read the full Shale Wealth Fund consultation document here.
Find out more about GGS’ continuous environmental monitoring services here.