According to The Telegraph, the European Commission (EC) has scrapped plans which could have spelt a premature end to the shale extraction industry in the UK. The EC will instead publish a set of laws which mirror those already in place in the UK.
In addition, the EC is expected to announce that shale gas extraction could lead to a moderate reduction in fuel prices across the EU.
The draft documentation states that “while the EU will not become self-sufficient in natural gas,” the latter could make up for “the decline in the EU’s conventional gas production.”
Good news for UK’s fracking industry
The news follows previous indications that the EC was poised to make it more difficult for companies to frack in the UK.
Speaking on the issue just last week — when it was thought the EC would put the brakes on fracking — Energy Minister Michael Fallon said: “They are proposals that would take years to finalise and would add damaging uncertainty and crippling costs to business.”
Drilling sites to multiply across the UK
The companies at the forefront of the UK’s shale extraction industry have announced that they are preparing to increase their drilling activities.
French company, Total, yesterday became the first major oil and gas firm to sign a deal to explore the country’s shale gas potential. The company has purchased 40% interest in two licences to drill in the North of England for close to £30m.
Fallon has said that he expects around 40 drilling sites to be operational in the UK in the next two years.
Exploratory drilling in West Sussex, carried out by Cuadrilla, was met by mass protests.