UK’s geology is ‘unsuitable’ for fracking, geologist claims

The UK's geology is unsuitable for fracking as a result of changes that happened millions of years ago, a geoscience expert has claimed.

The comments by Professor John Underhill, the chief scientist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, have been welcomed by campaigners who object to the technique claiming it causes environmental damage.

Underhill said that "the science shows that our country's geology is simply unsuitable for shale oil and gas production".

"The implication that because fracking works in the US, it must also work here is wrong," he added.

He said the government would be wise to formulate a Plan B to fracking for future gas supplies.

Last October, the government overruled Lancashire County Council and gave Cuadrilla the green light to begin drilling, but anti-fracking activists have refused to give up their fight.

Fracking firm Cuadrilla said it would determine how much gas was present from its test drilling.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale, a sedimentary rock found worldwide.

The amount of shale gas available in the UK is acknowledged to be a great unknown.

Cuadrilla said estimates from the British Geological Survey (BGS) indicated a large potential gas reserve.

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