Background to the report
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is a technique used to recover gas from shale rock. In England, this rock lies deep underground primarily in Yorkshire, the East Midlands and the North West. Fracking involves injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals at high pressure through a well. Typically, the well is first drilled vertically into the ground, and then horizontally. The water creates fractures in the rock and the sand lodges into the spaces to keep them open. This allows the released gas to flow out of the rocks and travel to the surface. The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (the Department) leads government’s policy for shale gas development.
Content and scope of the report
Fracking for shale gas is the subject of media, public and Parliamentary interest. This report sets out the facts about the government’s plans to support shale gas development in England to help Parliament consider whether taxpayers’ interests are being protected effectively. It covers:
- an overview of fracking, and what activity has taken place to date (Part One);
- government’s objectives (Part Two);
- managing the risks from fracking (Part Three); and
- the costs to taxpayers (Part Four).