(MENAFN- ProactiveInvestors)An independent task force commissioned by the government has concluded that fracking can be carried out safely in the United Kingdom. 'Our conclusion from all the evidence we've seen is clear' said Lord Chris Smith who chaired the task force. 'Only if the drilling is done properly and to the highest standard and with rigorous regulation and monitoring can shale gas fracking be done safely for local communities and the environment.' This apparent endorsement provides scant consolation to shale gas firms still reeling from contentious planning decisions in Lancashire last month. Lancashire County Council declined applications for two separate fracking projects near Blackpool even though its own senior planning official recommended one project for approval. Today's report from the Task Force on Shale Gas concluded that there were four 'essential ingredients' for safe fracking: the full disclosure of chemicals used in the process baseline monitoring strong well integrity and 'green completions'. Crucially Lord Smith concluded: 'The evidence shows that many of the concerns associated with fracking are the result of poor practice elsewhere in the world such as poorly constructed wells.' 'It is therefore crucial that stringent regulations are established in the UK as set out in our recommendations in order to meet these legitimate concerns.' UKOOG the industry group for the onshore UK oil and gas industry welcomed the report's findings. 'The tone of the report is geared towards creating a better understanding of hazard and risk which I think will be invaluable for those coming to this subject for the first time' said Ken Cronin UKOOG's chief executive. 'I was particularly pleased to note that the Task Force is satisfied that the risk levels associated with public health hazards are acceptable provided that the well is properly drilled protected monitored and regulated."
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