Global Warming Images
Shale Gas is fossil fuel that is trapped within sedimentary rock. It is released by drilling into the shale, and pumping a mixture of water and chemicals down into the strata to split the rock (known as fracking) and release the gas. As a fossil fuel it contributes to climate change. There are other problems associated with exploiting this fossil reserve. In the UK the fracking process has been linked to small earthquakes recorded around the area that has been fracked, in this case near Blackpool. In the UK, the industry is very much in its infancy with test drills being undertaken by the firm Cuadrilla. They are drilling into Bowland Shale which is found at depths along the Lancashire Plain between Blackpool and Southport. In the US, the resource has been exploited for years, with many resulting problems. The chemicals used in the fracking process have contaminated ground water. Also the methane released by the fracking process has got into the water table. People in areas of drilling have reported methane coming out of their water taps. In some instances in such concentrations that they can set fire to what is coming out of their water taps.