Shale gas, groundwater and climate change

The first company to seek shale gas in the UK has sunk its first borehole near Blackpool. But the new technology, which could hugely increase gas reserves, comes with the risk of polluting groundwater and other concerns, Gareth Simkins reports

Cuadrilla's first UK exploratory shale gas well at its Preese Hall site near Blackpool (credit: Cuadrilla Resources)A technology has come to the UK that may provide a new and significant source of natural gas.

But US experience has shown shale gas comes with environmental risks, not least to groundwater. It could also pose a significant challenge to UK policies for decarbonising ­electricity supplies.

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