Millions handed huge energy goldmine as fracking poised to overtake North Sea gas

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On Thursday, Prime Minister Liz Truss announced that she would end the ban on shale gas extraction – better known as fracking, allowing it to take place in communities that support the practice. This move is poised to be a masterstroke for solving the energy security crisis, as a new report finds that fracking could overtake North Sea production within 15 years. Figures from the National Grid show that by 2037, fracking’s contribution to Britain’s energy needs could equal that produced by the North Sea, and then move on to eclipse it in the following year.

However, the figures also warned that Ms Truss’ plan to get gas supplies flowing within six months might be ambitious.

The analysis found that shale gas production would start slowly in 2026, before accelerating and becoming one of the UK’s main energy supplies.

The controversial energy extraction process was banned in 2019 after scientific analysis exposed the risk of seismic activity from the practice.

The National Grid forecast indicates that fracking could help the UK end its reliance on fossil fuel imports, which have come into focus since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Over the past year, Vladimir Putin has manipulated the EU’s reliance on Russian oil and gas by squeezing supplies, which has global energy prices soaring.

Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire and a vocal supporter of fracking, hailed Ms Truss’s announcement saying: “I am delighted the moratorium has been lifted.

“We should have started fracking two years ago. And the next best time to start is immediately. We need that gas.”

Charles McAllister, director of UK Onshore Oil and Gas said: “The development of UK shale gas offers community benefits, tax revenue, tens of thousands of well-paid and skilled jobs, a real chance to level up the UK and energy security.

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