British Energy Secretary Ed Davey told at a natural gas conference in London that he was in favor of developing shale natural gas reserves.
"In principle, I'm all in favor of exploiting new resources," he said. "I would welcome as much as anyone a way to boost Britain's indigenous gas supplies and to reduce energy prices to consumers and businesses alike."
Cuadrilla Resources announced last year that it voluntarily halted shale gas extraction at a site in northwest England because of small tremors reported near its operations.
The British Department of Energy and Climate Change had suggested hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, procedures should include small-scale operations followed by a monitoring stage. Fracking would stop immediately if a seismic event of 0.5-magnitude or greater was recorded.
Davey said he makes "no apology" for exercising patience when it comes to shale natural gas reserves.
"I want to base our approach on the evidence, as we do for all fuel sources, and I know that industry analysts do see shale as a rather different proposition here than in the United States," he said.