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Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing

In this comprehensive report the authors enumerate many risks and shortcomings of the fracking technique. They issue 10 recommendations to mitigate possible dangers and to encounter lack of public acceptance of the technique.

In detail: The UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir John Beddington FRS, asked the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering to carry out an independent review of the scientific and engineering evidence relating to the technical aspects of the risks associated with hydraulic fracturing to inform government policymaking about shale gas extraction in the UK.

The terms of reference of this review were:
• What are the major risks associated with hydraulic fracturing as a means to extract shale gas in the UK, including geological risks, such as seismicity, and environmental risks, such as groundwater contamination?
• Can these risks be effectively managed? If so, how?

This report has analysed environmental and health and safety risks. Climate risks have not been analysed. The risks addressed in this report are restricted to those associated with the onshore extraction of shale gas. The subsequent use of shale gas has not been addressed.

Ben Koppelman, Alan Walker, and Emma Woods
Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing
The Royal Society and The Royal Academy of Engineering 2012


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