Commercial-scale shale gas extraction remains a possibility in the UK before the end of the decade, but the onus is on the government to ensure that the legislation around the sector works smoothly, an INEOS director said on Friday.
Moves by the government to expedite the delays in the planning approvals process following protracted deliberations over applications by Cuadrilla in Lancashire, eventually leading to the government taking the decision away from local authorities, were welcomed by INEOS.
“The government has done quite a lot to facilitate the early development of shale, I think the combination of the various legislative changes they have made to make sure the planning permission works expeditiously are enough to mean we can explore,” said Patrick Erwin, commercial director of INEOS Shale.
“I think there will need to be more reforms as we move towards large-scale production,” he added.
The company more than tripled the land in the UK it has permission to explore for shale this week in the latest tranche of the UK’s 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round, bringing its total to 1m acres and making it the largest player in the nascent UK shale industry.