Emma Fenton
January 2014

Fracking: the debate

The debate around fracking has intensified in recent months, with campaigners and local communities entrenched in seemingly intractable positions against the Government and fracking industry. In an attempt to summarise the debate around the environmental effects of fracking the IES has produced a factsheet capturing the key viewpoints.

Fracking is the term used to describe the process by which gas and oil - previously unreachable by traditional drilling techniques - are recovered from shale rock. During the process a vertical well is initially drilled into the rock; the drill is then turned sideways and the well extended horizontally, often for miles. Neither of the techniques that is used in the process is novel, however in combination they present a new challenge and indeed opportunity for the exploration of global oil and gas reserves.  However, campaigners and communities have concerns about impacts.

Download the factsheet