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LONDON, January 25 (Itar-Tass) - European Union should not take regulatory measures impeding development of shale gas fields, British Prime Minister David Cameron told the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Cameron cited the U.S. where increased production of shale gas caused energy costs to decline thus increasing the U.S. industry’s competitiveness.
“To relocate in Europe, businesses will be encouraged by cheap and predictable sources of energy,” he said.
“We should be clear that if the European Union or its member states impose burdensome, unjustified or premature regulatory burdens on shale gas exploration in Europe investors will quickly head elsewhere,” the PM believes.
“Oil and gas will still be plentifully produced, but Europe will be dry,” Cameron said.
Shale gas and oil are produced with the use of hydraulic fracturing of shale rocks by injecting toxic chemicals underground known as fracking which may pollute water sources and cause earthquakes.
Cameron admitted fracking’s ecological danger but said with safety measures applied shale gas can be produced without harm for people’ health and the environment.
“We need the right regulations - such as ensuring that well casings are set at the right depths with tight seals. And governments need to reassure people that nothing would go ahead if there were environmental dangers,” Cameron believes. “But if this is done properly, shale gas can actually have lower emissions than imported gas.”
European countries’ views on fracking differ. German and French governments imposed a moratorium on this technology and so far have no plans to revoke the decision. Meanwhile, the British government has recently allowed use of the technology. London fears the common European legislation on shale gas production will be based on continental Europe’s views, that is contain tough restrictions.
Cameron’s Cabinet hopes shale gas production will help Britain reduce gas imports increasing as the North Sea’s fields are being depleted.
Full version of the speech is available on https://www.gov.uk/.