Britons support fracking, says study

A new study reports that 57% of Britons support fracking, i.e. the extraction of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, while only 16% are against. The survey, carried out by Populus on behalf of UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), found that two-thirds of British citizens believe the country should become less reliant on imported natural gas.

After receiving the survey results, UKOOG announced today that more than three times as many Brits support natural gas production from shale than oppose it.

The study involved 4,000 adults from across the country and are considered a representative sample of the whole population.

UK oil & gas production falling

As North Sea production declines, most people in the United Kingdom dislike the idea of becoming increasingly dependent on imports for natural gas supplies, UKOOG said.

Below are some highlighted data from the study:

  • 57% support fracking, 16% are against, and 27% don’t know.
  • 67% agree the country should reduce its reliance on natural gas imports, while only 1% disagree.
  • 57% support fracking as long as it is part of a mix that includes renewable energy resources, while 12% don’t.
  • 42% support the UK Government’s planned changes to underground land access while 16% disagree. The changes will make it easier for fracking to take place.

Fracking survey UK

(Source: UKOOG)

Ken Cronin, CEO of UKOOG, said:

“This suvey shows that most people across the country think that shale gas should be developed. More than four out of five of us heat our homes with gas, and Britain’s shale resource gives us the opportunity to become less dependent on foreign energy supplies, create tens of thousands of jobs and support our manufacturing industries.”

“Shale gas and renewables are complementary, and our survey confirms that the public would like to see a balanced mix that includes both sources of energy. While these results are positive, our industry needs to continue to do all it can to listen to and engage with the views of the local community.”

Industry lobby poll invalid, says Greenpeace

The BBC quoted a spokesman from Greenpeace who said:

“Surely it’s no coincidence that the only survey out there showing this level of public support for fracking has been commissioned by the industry lobby. All independent polls show less than half of Britain backs shale drilling. This is just more smoke and mirrors to hide the obvious fact that fracking remains a highly controversial industry, far less popular than clean and safe alternatives like wind and solar.”

Several energy companies have become interested in exploring for shale gas in the UK. In January, Total announced a $50 million investment.