Chancellor George Osborne has said that the Treasury will go ahead with the most generous tax regime for shale gas in the world.
>In the North Sea oil and gas exploration has received tax breaks along the same lines. This has brought about a renewed interest in this field, which is both technically very difficult and rather expensive. The tax allowance will see a huge relief for fracking, with a portion of each production sites income taxation going to a level of 30% in place of the 62% currently levied.
The British Geological Society has said that shale gas in northern England alone could be as high as 1,300 trillion cubic feet and just 10% of that would meet Britain’s needs for more than 40 years.
Water UK, a representative of Britain’s biggest water suppliers has voiced fears that large quantities of water needed for fracking would stretch water supplies very thinly in the areas earmarked for fracking sites, and there is a concern of contamination of water supplies with chemical waste and methane gas. Water UK said that damage could be done to the existing water pipe infrastructure with resultant shortages for home and business use.
Fracking companies say that lengthy waiting periods for environmental permission to begin fracking are a major concern, and Ministers have said they will endeavour to minimise the waiting period from over three months to under two weeks. Public support for shale gas exploration is low.<
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