The Impact of Shale Gas on Energy Markets - Energy and Climate Change Contents

1  Introduction

1.  We last examined the issue of shale gas in 2010-11.[1] At that time we concluded that, even though shale gas resources in the UK could be considerable, they were unlikely to be a "game changer" to the same extent as they have been in the US. Our Report focused mainly on the environmental impact of shale gas in response to public concern at that time. Since that inquiry there have been two significant changes. First, there have been new shale gas estimates both in the UK, and globally, which have fluctuated significantly, and second, there is speculation that a "shale gas revolution" will bring an era of abundant, cheap gas. Our aim was to investigate these claims.

2.  We launched our inquiry in September 2012. We received 35 submissions of written evidence, for which we are grateful.[2] We held three oral evidence sessions. A full list of witnesses can be found at the end of this report.[3] We would like to express our thanks to all those who contributed to our evidence-gathering.

3.   In this Report we consider the implications of the "shale gas revolution" for energy markets around the world. In chapter 3 we review the prospects of shale gas assessing the reliability of new figures in the context of significant uncertainty. In chapters 4 and 5 we assess the potential impact of shale gas on energy markets and climate change mitigation globally, in Europe and in the UK. In chapters 6 and 7 we also consider other potential impacts on the UK and key issues the Government will need to consider when developing its own shale gas industry.

1   Energy and Climate Change Committee, Fifth Report of Session 2010-12, Shale Gas, HC 795 Back

2   List of written evidence, p 48 Back

3   Witnesses, p 47 Back

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Prepared 26 April 2013