Fracking compensation to be increased
Government hopes extra funds for affected communities will quell opposition to controversial method of extracting fuel.
The amount of compensation made available to communities affected by fracking is to be increased in an attempt to counter opposition, the government is to say. The news comes as a report is due to be published estimating that several billion barrels of oil lie in shale rocks beneath southern England.
Ministers will say an average of £800,000 in additional payments will be provided to communities affected by fracking. The announcement shows that the government accepts it must reach out to communities angered by its plan to deny homeowners the right to use trespass laws to contest fracking developments..
The Department for Energy and Climate Change will announce a new payment of about £20,000 for each lateral well at fracking sites. The average site will have 10 wells, each with four lateral wells, making the average total £800,000. The payments are on top of the existing compensation system, under which communities are to be given a lump sum of £100,000 when a test well is fracked, plus 1% of revenues.
In a study due to be published on Friday, the British Geological Survey (BGS) is expected to say there are large shale gas reserves in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire. But according to reports, the BGS will say it remains to be seen whether extracting them is economically viable.
David Cameron is an avid supporter of fracking for shale gas. Ministers claim the process could bring down energy bills and create thousands of jobs. Environmental activists are bitterly opposed to the technique, which they say can cause small earthquakes and pollute water supplies, and which they believe will accelerate climate change.
Cameron has said fracking would be “good for our country” and has blamed a lack of understanding of the process for some of the opposition. The government is preparing to introduce changes to the trespass laws that would make it easier to begin fracking.
- The Guardian,