Earlier today, representatives of the Royal Society and of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK made it public news that, given the findings of their latest study on this matter, the practice of fracking is to continue in this particular country, provided that proper safety precautions are implemented.
For those unaware, fracking (or hydraulic fracturing) is a process of extracting petroleum, natural gas or similar compounds from deep underground sources by using pressurized fluids.
More precisely, as these liquids are injected into the soil, they help create new channels, which in turn allow for much more efficient extractions.
Robert Mair, one of the specialists involved in this research, explained how, “There has been much speculation around the safety of shale gas extraction following examples of poor practice in the US.”
Apparently, this was the main drive behind their decision to further investigate the practice of hydraulic fracturing.
However, he goes on to argue, “We found that well integrity is of key importance, but the most common areas of concern, such as the causation of earthquakes with any significant impact or fractures reaching and contaminating drinking water, were very low risk.”
To put it bluntly, the identifiable environmental, health and safety risks are by no means as elevated as they would have to be to surpass the benefits of extracting shale gas through said process of fracking.
Thus, as explained on the official website for the Royal Academy of Engineering, as long as safety protocols are not in the least ignored, odds are that cases of underground water contamination, seismicity, or other such incidents will almost never occur.
In spite of this report, environmentalists still fear that fracking might in time cause significant damage to our natural world.
A summary of this new report on shale gas extraction by means of fracking is available on the Royal Society's website.