Fracking risk to drinking water greater in Britain than United States, warns expert by Graham Hiscott, June 4, 2014, The Daily Mirror
Claim that water contamination risk much higher in UK comes as Government set to give drilling go-ahead
David Smythe, Professor of Geophysics at the University of Glasgow, says those citing the US as an example of where fracking has worked are ignoring a fundamental difference to here. His research suggests there are 400 more fault lines beneath the surface in the UK, dramatically increasing the risk of gas and oil leaking into water sources or to the surface.
The warning comes as the Government is expected to use today’s Queen’s Speech to make it easier to allow shale gas exploration firms to drill beneath private property without needing the owners’ permission.
But Professor Smythe warned: “The geology of Britain is far more complex than in North America. “Whatever you think of fracking experience there, it cannot be applied here.
“Although the rock is the same, it’s the configuration of the layers that is completely different.”
He went on: “As is well known in the oil industry, faults are often conduits up to the surface for leaking gas and oil.
“In Britain, all these shale basins are heavily faulted.
“We have 400 times the amount of faulting as in the US, we are completely different.
“The risk is that if and when the shale layer is fracked, there is quite a finite likelihood that the fracked fluid and the methane will leak up the fault and could contaminate the surface or water resources.” [Emphasis added]