– Francis Egan, Cuadrilla Chief Executive
“The British Geological Survey's new resource estimate for the Bowland
Basin is fantastic news for Lancashire and the UK as a whole. It confirms
the huge natural gas volumes contained within the shale rock in our
exploration licence area. Successful development of this natural gas
resource will, we believe, significantly reduce the country's reliance on
imported coal and gas, create thousands of jobs, generate significant tax
revenues and exert downward pressure on domestic gas prices.
– Tony Bosworth, Friends of the Earth Energy Campaigner
"Shale gas is not the solution to the UK's energy challenges. Its potential has been hugely over-hyped and there's little evidence it will drive down fuel prices.
"Extracting shale gas will have a significant effect on local communities and our environment - the more that's extracted, the bigger those impacts will be.
"The North could be at the heart of Britain's green energy and economic transformation, but not by turning it into another 'gaslands'.
– Michael Fallon, Energy Minister
Shale gas could play an important part in our energy mix. The next step is for industry is to establish how much gas is technically and commercially recoverable.
With the package we've announced on planning, environmental regulations and community benefits, its clear that we want to encourage a shale industry that is safe and doesn't damage the environment.
Tax breaks and fast-tracked permits for controversial shale gas exploration are likely to form part of the multi-billion pound infrastructure package aimed at kick-starting sluggish economic growth. British reserves of the energy source are much higher than previously thought.
Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander will also reveal details of projects such as new road and rail capacity, science facilities and nuclear power stations, in a Commons statement.