SHALE gas “represents an opportunity for Wales” but it must not be at the expense of our natural environment, a group of MPs concluded

The report by the Welsh Affairs Select Committee, spurred by government estimates that nearly 70 per cent of the UK’s gas supply will be imported by 2025, looked at the potential economic and environmental impacts of the development of a shale gas industry in Wales.

The body representing the interests of the UK onshore oil and gas industry, the United Kingdom Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG) said the committee had “correctly identified” that natural gas is important not only for electricity production, but also for domestic heating, cooking and industrial production. In their report MPs recommended the UK Government and Welsh Government work with commercial companies and others to provide a reliable range of estimates of shale gas available in Wales, to be published by the end of 2014. They said both governments ought to assess the overall impact of shale gas supply on the level and mix of energy produced in Wales and the UK, including looking at how the combination of nuclear, hydro-power, coal, wave and solar impacts upon carbon emission targets.