Priti Patel asks about investment in shale gas infrastructure

Priti Patel (Witham) (Con): What recent estimate he has made of the value to the UK economy of the shale gas sector. [904337]
 
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Michael Fallon): The Government are promoting responsible shale development for greater energy security, to deliver jobs and growth and to support investment. The recent EY report estimates that there could be £33 billion-worth of spend on shale gas exploration creating about 64,000 jobs, including over £20 billion on hydraulic fracturing and £8 billion on drilling and completion of the wells. That is why we are supporting exploration to understand just how much of this potential can be realised.
 
Priti Patel: I thank the Minister for his response. Given the enormous projected value of the shale gas sector and the opportunity shale provides for energy independence, do the Government have plans to support more investment in shale gas infrastructure?
 
Michael Fallon: Yes, we have set out the new fiscal regime that will apply to shale exploration. We have a system of robust regulation in place. There are some dozen companies now exploring, and I shall shortly be inviting applications for new onshore licences under the 14th licensing round, which will afford more opportunities for new companies to enter this market, and I know colleagues across the House will want to champion applications for licences in their area.
 

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