Researchers at Durham University have published a major report looking into the dangers of fracking. They say fracking, which involves fracturing rocks to release shale gas, is relatively safe. But drilling boreholes, whether for fracking or not, is potentially dangerous.
Richard Davies from Durham University says there is some sort of risk with every energy technology.
Researchers at Durham University have published a major report looking into the dangers of fracking.
They say the process, which involves fracturing rocks to release shale gas, is relatively safe.
But they warn that drilling boreholes, whether for fracking or for any other reason, is potentially dangerous.
The issue of fracking is being highlighted on Teesside after it was confirmed that the process could take place there, as well as in parts of North Yorkshire.
Shale gas is present beneath western Redcar, covering South Bank and Grangetown, as well as in Stockton.
Unsurprisingly, it has caused controversy, with some saying fracking is not welcome in the North East, while others claim it could be the boost needed in areas of high unemployment. Our Teesside Correspondent Rachel Bullock reports:
Prof Richard Davies of Durham University has been conducting independent research into the controversial drilling technique.
As fracking, and the controversy which surrounds it, moves a step closer to the region, many people admit that they are still unsure what it means.
So what exactly is fracking and why does it generate such strong feelings both for and against?
Richard Wilson has been looking at the science behind the controversial mining technique.
The licences granted for areas of potential fracking do not give consent for drilling.
Companies then need:
- Landowner(s) agreement
- Planning permission
- Environment Agency permit
- Examination from the Health and Safety Executive
- Consent from the Department of Energy and Climate Change
Christopher Massey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs, has explained how energy companies would have to go through many stages of permission before they would be able to carry out fracking on Teesside.
The Government has granted access to land stretching east of Middlesbrough to the western edge of Redcar, covering South Bank, Grangetown and north of the River Tees for the purposes of extracting oil and gas.
Before anyone does that, they must also approach Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council for planning permission.
The council has not received any enquiries from energy companies about fracking.
Lord Howell says he didn't actually mean the North East when he said it had "desolate" areas which would be good for fracking.
He now says he meant "unloved" areas of the North West.
Lord Howell said that the North East of England was not "in his mind at all" and he meant "more the drilling going on off the Lancashire coast".
The Tory peer was forced to apologise on Tuesday after saying in the House of Lords there was "plenty of room" for controversial hydraulic fracturing drilling to take place in the North East without affecting the environment.
He's now says: "What was in my mind was much more the drilling going on off the Lancashire coast. But it came out of my mouth as the North East, which you can blame me for rightly. And that has created a great furore. The North East wasn't in my mind at all."