Shell says no to UK shale gas investment

May 24, 2013 at 3:49 pm

Shell have officially dashed any hopes the UK shale gas industry might have had of luring the giant extraction company into negotiations.

In an official statement Simon Henry, the company’s chief financial officer said that Shell had more pressing concerns in other parts of the world.

He went on to say that the UK shale gas situation is unproven, and perhaps tellingly he is quoted, “Do we want to be first in and be in the headlines every day in the UK? Well, your answer is: we are not”. Could this mean Shell are giving the controversial practice a wide berth in light of their recent environmental/PR disasters in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea and Arctic? And if so, what does this tell us about the true cost of fracking?

Fracking, said to have re-invigorated the U.S energy market, is being supported by the UK Government, doubtless for similar reasons. However, the practice, already widespread in America, is blamed for the disintegration of local communities, the poisoning of local water sources and the release of harmful pollutants into the air.

Does it come as any surprise that Shell are wary of stepping headlong into the unveiling of similar problems on home soil? Given the certainty of local and activist opposition over the uncertainty of the rewards, perhaps they prefer to operate in more remote areas of the world for now.

Shell’s position marks a complete u-turn on last year’s when the very same spokesman admitted that the unproven UK market was a tempting option for the company.

However, since the go-ahead for fracking was given by David Cameron, smaller players are already looking for contracts.

Experts say that this mirrors the pace of development in the US where smaller players started the game off and bigger ones got involved as the scale of availability became more apparent.

Shale industry experts agree that any reserves, however big, are indeed finite. Opponents of fracking meanwhile are convinced that finite reserves are not worth the environmental and human damage that extraction causes. Instead they support investment in more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy production such as sun, wind, sea and biogas.

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One response to “Shell says no to UK shale gas investment”

  1. Alan MAWDITT says:

    Well done Shell. Goverments cannot be trusted with such matters involving potetial human suffering. The problems that will arrise out of this process will be insoluble and cause immeasurable suffering in ways never experienced in the history of mankind. Heed this warning from a lowly indivual that will pass this way but once.

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