The Charles Russell Energy & Natural Resources update
This Spring edition of Energize demonstrates the diversity of our cross office and cross disciplinary ENR practice; from mining in Saudi, to onshore oil and gas drilling in the UK, to smart cities worldwide.
Clive Hopewell has just returned from Houston, Texas, where he was attending the Annual Oil & Gas practice Group Meeting of our legal network, ALFA International. The principal subject of this year’s meeting was shale gas drilling and production. Fracking is nothing new to Texas and the process was invented there in the 1950s. Nor is it particularly controversial. The key concern of the North American delegates was the huge pressure on infrastructure by the abundance of shale oil supply and the need and benefits of more pipeline development, including the controversial Keystone XL project.
This contrasts starkly with the situation in the UK where we are still at the drawing board in relation to shale oil & gas exploration. However, pressure is mounting for legislative reform to kick start the onshore shale industry. As Lord MacGregor (Chairman of the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee) concluded in its recent report on the shale opportunity in the UK; "The Committee strongly supports the decision to go "all out for shale"(...) Developing a successful shale gas and oil industry should be a national priority."
Mark Howard, discusses the challenges currently facing onshore drilling activity in the UK in his article below.