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2016 Energy Service Group Conference
1 March 2016

Conference notes:

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as ‘Fracking’ is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out at the head of the well.

Conference acknowledges that it is not alarmist to refer to the UK energy challenges as the UK ‘Energy Crisis’. The National Grid has reported that blackouts are a real possibility. While the UK population grows the demands on our current energy supplies are under severe strain. Arguably successive governments over the last 2 decades have failed to gear up to and meet this crisis through increased investment, increasing energy sources including current and new forms of energy supplies.

There is clearly diverse and passionate public and expert opinions for and against fracking. Studies published report dangers of fracking to the environment and local populations. Statistics indicate a potential increase risk of earthquakes and contaminated water supplies. Issues of concern around Health and Safety, the transportation and the collection of the gas, concerns about the locations of the sites particularly in rural areas but also near built up areas. All of these are valid concerns and need to be researched and addressed.

On the other hand our energy supplies are in crisis and we must look for new and renewable energy sources to address the increased capacity for demand and declining supplies of traditional forms of energy including gas and coal.

As workers within the Energy sector the future of our energy supplies is our future, as employees and also as consumers. More research needs to be conducted into the use of this form of extraction so we can make an informed policy decision on the issue.

Conference calls on the SGE to:

1)Work with relevant organisations to come to an understanding of the arguments for and against Fracking

2)To produce materials which explain the pros and the cons of Fracking so that our members can make an informed decision

3)Consider developing SGE policy in favour or in opposition to Fracking based on an informed decision.