An agreement to ensure the onshore industry works safely, transparently and in an environmentally responsible way while exploring for shale gas has been set out.
GMB union and UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) announced the agreement of a joint charter, which will focus on safety, skills and supply chain development.
They aim to ensure gas is recognised as “essential” to British industry and households and plays a key role in both the UK’s future energy supply and the move to a low carbon energy future. They hope the agreement will also help build understanding among local communities.
An Industry Safety Forum, which will build on the strong regulatory and safety foundations in the sector, will be established.
Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary said: “Having access to gas is a matter of national security. Our homes and large parts of British industry need gas; any suggestion to the contrary is just not real world. The truth is we are going to be using gas including shale gas for a long time to come.
“Given these facts we need to honestly consider the moral and environmental issues about transporting gas, including shale gas, across oceans and continents and being increasingly dependent on gas from countries with regulatory and environmental standards lower than ours.”
UKOOG Chief Executive Ken Cronin added shale gas has the potential to generate “thousands of highly skilled well paid jobs”.