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London brushes off fracking concerns

May 25, 2011 at 8:58 AM

LONDON, May 25 (UPI) -- British lawmakers said it wasn't necessary to place a moratorium on shale gas development so long as environmental controls are in place.

The British Geological Survey estimates there is as much as 5.2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in onshore deposits.

A report by the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change committee found that developing unconventional gas deposits like shale could provide more energy security for the country though not enough to have a "dramatic" effect on domestic prices.

Environmental groups are concerned the chemicals used to coax natural gas out of underground rock formations could affect the quality of drinking water.

The British report, however, found there was "no evidence" to suggest hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, poses a substantial risk to water aquifers.

Tim Yeo, chairman of the House of Commons committee, was quoted by the Platts news service as saying there was no reason to impose a moratorium on unconventional gas production.

"There appears to be nothing inherently dangerous about the process of 'fracking' itself and as long as the integrity of the well is maintained shale gas extraction should be safe," he said.

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