In December 2012, the United Kingdom Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) lifted the suspension on exploratory fracking for shale gas (imposed May 2011), potentially opening the door to harnessing major gas reserves and stimulating the country’s fledgling natural gas vehicle industry. The decision could herald a golden age for gas, especially for natural gas vehicles, explains John Baldwin, MD of CNG Services Ltd — a biomethane and natural gas consultancy and project management company.
“If UK can produce its own gas there are huge savings in avoided LNG imports from Qatar,” Baldwin says. “By using the UK’s £15 billion high pressure gas grid, we can start to migrate all our trucks onto compressed natural gas (CNG).”
The fact that there will be a 25% ‘Well to Wheel’ (WTW) GHG reduction using Lancashire Shale and CNG compared to imported oil means that UK can also meet its 2050 targets to decarbonising the economy.
According to a DECC press release: following a detailed study and further analysis by an independent panel of experts commissioned by the DECC, with feedback from a wide public consultation, and the benefit of the report by the Royal Society and Royal Academy of Engineering, the Government has concluded that the seismic risks associated with fracking can be managed effectively with controls.
(This article primarily compiled using information from a CNG Services Ltd press release)