Skip to content

David Cameron Remains Optimistic For British Fracking


He blames green campaigners for delays, but believes industry will eventually take off in the UK — not least because it’s in Britain’s national interest.

The former prime minister, David Cameron, told US oil executives that fracking would make the UK ‘more competitive, more energy independent, less reliant on Russian gas’. Photograph: Lindsey Parnaby/PA

Emulating the US’ success in fracking natural gas from shale is necessary for a post-Brexit UK, but challenges remain in the environmental sector, former Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday.

“I passionately believe that there is big potential for fracking and unconventional gas in Britain, which has some shale reserves that could make a real difference,” said Cameron, the keynote speaker at the American Fuel and Petrochemicals Manufacturers annual conference in San Antonio.

“In the United States, there are 15,000, 16,000 shale wells. In Europe there are about 10 — this is pathetic. We are going to fall behind if we don’t extract the gas that we have that can make us more competitive, more energy independent, less reliant on Russian gas.”

Cameron said that although the UK government set the groundwork for a successful shale play, while simultaneously cutting greenhouse gas emissions, environmental pressures have restricted progress since he left office in 2016.

“We passed the laws, changed the planning rules, talked to the companies, changed the regulations, set out the bonuses communities would stand to get if wells went ahead, but it was painfully slow and incredibly frustrating,” Cameron said. “The green movements have become absolutely obsessed with the notion that any new form of energy that has any reliance on carbon is a bad thing, so they are just opposed to fracking, come what may.

“Yes, we will do it because there is so much in our national interest, it just may take some time. What we need are some wells up and running where the local community can see that they are not that disruptive, that there are big financial benefits, that they can see an industry can build up around it.”

Full story