Fracking must start by end of year, says Cameron

Drilling did get underway in Balcombe, Sussex, last year but was abandoned after protester flooded the site

Britain has a duty to step up fracking to reduce dependence on gas from Russia, the Prime Minister said yesterday.

David Cameron, who met world leaders to discuss the crisis in Ukraine, said the annexation of Crimea was a ‘wake up call’ for Europe about its reliance on Russian energy.

Moscow supplies around a third of Europe’s gas, much of it via a pipeline through Ukraine, and Mr Cameron said some countries are nearly 100% reliant on Russian gas.

He said he wanted some shale gas wells up and running by the end of the year, to encourage the idea of self-sufficiency in energy.

But his call surprised industry experts, who said it would be the end of this decade before commercial fracking could begin.
Britain has vast reserves of shale gas trapped in rocks thousands of feet underground which can be extracted in the controversial fracking process…