Department for Energy and Climate Change written question – answered on 5th February 2015.

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Photo of Barry Gardiner Barry Gardiner Shadow Minister (Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment he has made of the effect of depth limits for hydraulic fracturing on (a) fugitive emissions and (b) safety.

Photo of Matthew Hancock Matthew Hancock Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills), Minister of State for Portsmouth, The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change

The risks of each project involving hydraulic fracturing can only be assessed in the light of the specific circumstances, including the geological and hydrogeological context. The risk of fugitive emissions and the safety aspects are assessed by expert regulators on a case-by-case basis as part of the environmental permitting and Health and Safety procedures.

The UK has decades of experience in safely conducting surface activities and constructing onshore gas wells, regulated by the Health & Safety Executive, and techniques to reduce emissions (“green completions”) have been made a requirement of environmental permits for shale gas production.

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