The US’s acknowledged expert, Chris Faulkner, will advise the UK to put aside unfounded fears and exploit its “huge windfall”. 

Mr. Faulkner will be at the event held on Thursday evening at The Savoy Hotel, in London. Failing to tap the UK’s natural gas reserves would be “foolish” and a gas shortage could make 2017 a “dark and cold year”.  Conversely, using these reserves “would stabilise the economy and energy prices for many years to come”.

The significant differential between US and European energy prices endorses his view, although his views on energy prices, fracking and Arctic exploration will be challenged in a chaired discussion and debate on the evening with environmentalists including Dr. Doug Parr, chief scientist and policy director at Greenpeace UK.

Mr. Faulkner is coming from Dallas, Texas to address the leaders of the UK oil and gas industry at Energy Live 2013, a conference where Ed Davey, the Energy Minister, is a key speaker.  Faulkner is chief executive of Breitling Energy Corporation, a widely respected industry leader and award-winning independent, and is regarded in the United States as “the Frack Master” for his frank, factual and uninhibited support of the controversial extraction process. 

His message is as much to government as to his peers.  Referring to proposed new EU restrictions, his advice is unequivocal, “Shale gas is a massive gift to the UK.  It would be foolish to allow these new ‘anti-fracking’ regulations to step us back five years in the process of shale gas exploration and production that could be a huge windfall for the UK.” 

“I hope the UK has learned a valuable lesson from its mistakes with oil and gas in the North Sea. It is the largest oil producer and second largest natural gas producer in the European Union, and had the UK not permitted export of its North Sea resources, it would even now be in possession of a stable energy reserve.”

“With North Sea reserves on the decline, the UK’s unconventional reserves could not only pick up the slack but give it an American-style energy boom that would stabilise the economy and energy prices for many years to come.” 

“It is a sad time for Europe.  It is smothered with high energy prices, declining indigenous gas supplies and a marriage to Gazprom that is nothing short of abusive.”

“Shale gas has real promise in Europe, specifically in the UK.  It’s sad to think that after safely fracking over a million and a half wells in the United States since 1947 the technology can be so widely hated by a small fraction of the citizens.  Science has been tossed out the window due to misinformation and fear mongering.  If these regulations pass, the additional time and red tape needed to get a fracking permit will put the brakes on a blossoming industry that otherwise has a very bright future.”

“The economic crisis has crippled the continent – oil and gas could be its saviour just like it was in the US.  Europe is at a crossroads.  It needs to decide if it’s going to support energy exploration or go on paying the Russians and hope they don’t get angry with the Ukraine again.” 

“If the UK suffers the type of gas shortage I’m afraid I see coming, 2017 will be a dark and cold year.”

It would appear more positive comments are being published regarding fracking - possibly indicating the direction the UK could go.

The Public Health Report on the potential public health impacts of commercial shale gas operations, published recently, indicated there was little or low risk to public health.

Ken Cronin, chief executive of the UK Onshore Operators Group (UKOOG), the representative body for the onshore oil and gas industry in the UK, said, “We welcome the report from Public Health England that shows that there is a low risk to public health of properly run and regulated shale gas extraction. As the UK has among the highest standards for onshore oil and gas extraction in the world, backed up by the industry’s own stringent shale gas well guidelines, we hope that the Public Health England findings will reassure communities up and down the country that shale gas can be extracted with minimal risk to their wellbeing.”