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Showing posts from August, 2013

Property Law Implications of Fracking

What is Fracking? It is a process whereby natural gas is extracted from beneath the earth though hydraulic fracturing.  It is not a new process; it has taken place in this country for many years now.  This type of mining has in the United States led to a substantial reduction in the price of gas for industry and consumer – a reduction of around a third. The Government is hoping for a similar result in the UKgiven the existence of massive reserves of shale gas. There is no legal framework for governing Fracking within the UK. The Government hopes the current safeguards built within environmental and planning law will be sufficient to protect the environment and communities. So who owns the shale gas? In the US it belongs to the landowner whereas in the UK the Crown owns it (Petroleum Act 1988).  So there is unlikely to be Dallas like windfalls on offer. However to mine the gas the contractor still needs the consent and the cooperation of the landowner to be able to drill down for the extrac…