The 14 Words

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Government accused of 'overhyping' shale gas benefits

'Frack off Cameron'

Ministers have been accused of overhyping the potential benefits of shale gas by using fracking industry figures that promise local communities up to £10m in cash – ignoring an independent government-commissioned report that suggested it could be as little as quarter of that.

Shale gas companies have promised they will pay local communities £100,000 up front for each exploratory well that is fracked, and then 1pc of any revenues from shale gas drilling.

The companies claim this could be worth £5m to £10m over the lifetime of a fracking site - likely to be at least 10 years. This is based on a report by the Institute of Directors, sponsored by fracking firm Cuadrilla.

But an independent Strategic Environmental Assessment report by consultants Amec, commissioned by the government and released just last month, estimates the share of the revenues would actually equate to between £2.4m and £4.8m per site.

Yet the government has since opted to use the IoD figures, making no mention of the Amec report.

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