The UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) issued a statement Thursday responding to a conservation charities report calling for protected wildlife areas, nature reserves and national parks to be "frack-free zones". UKOOG said that it believes the shale gas industry in the UK is "properly regulated and can provide significant economic benefits through energy security, job creation, supply chain enhancement and direct and indirect community benefit".
The charities' report, called "Are We Fit to Frack?", claims a lack of regulation around shale gas exploration that "could cause serious impacts for a range of threatened species". It also said that there were "serious concerns" about risks of water contamination.
However, UKOOG - which represents the unconventional oil and gas industry in the UK – stated that most of the 10 recommendations made in the Are We Fit to Frack report are "already in place or are in discussion". The organization said that it looks forward to being able to discuss with the report's publishers – which include the Angling Trust, the National Trust, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the Salmon & Trout Association, The Wildlife Trusts and the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust – the best way forward "so that we ensure all misconceptions about the shale gas industry in the UK can be addressed".
UKOOG Chief Executive Ken Cronin commented:
"We have studied this report and the fact [is] that many of the recommendations are already in place in the UK or are in the process of being put in place. We hope that the publication of this report, despite a number of critical inaccuracies, will kick-start a process of open dialogue which we have already proposed to conservation agencies.
"The economic and environmental imperative to use the UK's indigenous resources of gas is clear. The US has managed to lower both emissions and energy prices at the same time as maintaining investment in low carbon technologies such as renewables and increasing investment in manufacturing industries, while in Europe we have increased emissions, increased coal consumption, increased prices and are suffering economically.
"A well-regulated shale industry has an important part to play in the UK energy mix and economy.”
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