Drilling hundreds of wells to frack for shale gas would only impact “tiny bits” of the countryside, Lord Browne has claimed, insisting there was no rational cause for concern over the controversial process.
The former chief executive of BP, said the Government should not “get in the way” of shale gas companies such as Cuadrilla Resources, of which he is now a director.
Cuadrilla halted fracking – the hydraulic fracturing process used to extract shale gas – after causing two earth tremors near Blackpool last year. An independent report this month said it should be allowed to resume, paving the way for government approval.
Lord Browne said that Cuadrilla, which he backs through private equity firm Riverstone, was likely to know in about a year whether the resources it has found in Lancashire could be recovered commercially.
“In the US people have been very lucky, they have had an enormous windfall benefit through low gas prices,” he said this week. If commercial resources are found ministers should “make sure [they] don’t get in the way of this being done well”.
Lord Browne acknowledged concerns over fracking but insisted there were “rational explanations of why these concerns should not exist”.