• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

The facts about fracking

What is fracking?

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", is a technique designed to recover gas and oil which is trapped within shale rock underground. The oil and gas is extracted by drilling down into the earth and using high-pressure jets of water, sand and chemicals into the rock to release the shale gas and oil.

Why is it important?

Fracking has transformed the energy industry in the US, where it is expected to account for almost half the nation's natural gas supply by 2035. It is credited with cutting domestic heating bills by up to 40 per cent by reducing the market's reliance on more volatile overseas imports.

Why is it controversial?

There have been health scares in the US which linked fracking to contaminated water supplies, as well as mini-earthquakes and the fear by environmentalists that it distracts governments from investing in renewables.

Where is it done?

Nowhere in the UK, so far, although several sites - especially in northern England - are under consideration for drilling licences.

Contextual targeting label: 

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.