05 December 2012 17:23 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--The UK government is to establish a dedicated government office for shale gas to simplify regulations for the sector, and is to consult on tax breaks for the industry, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said on Wednesday.
Announced as part of the UK government’s autumn budget statement, the new office is to provide a single point of contact for investors in shale gas extraction, which is currently banned in the country, and to ensure a “simplified and streamlined” regulatory process.
Osborne said: “We are consulting on new tax incentives for shale gas and announcing the creation of a single Office for Unconventional Gas so that regulation is safe but simple.”
Osborne also indicated that the ban on shale gas extraction, which was suspended in June 2011 as a result of fears it may have been the cause of several small earthquakes in northwest England, may soon be lifted.
“We don’t want British families and businesses to be left behind as gas prices tumble on the other side of the Atlantic,” he added.
The new budget was announced amid rumours that the UK may be the next European economy to be stripped of its AAA credit rating as a result of lower-than-expected growth rates and below-target debt reduction.
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