What is the deal with fracking?

Q What is fracking?

A Fracking is pumping pressurised water and chemicals underground to open shale rocks and release trapped gas in otherwise inaccessible areas.

Q Why is it called fracking?

A It is a shorted version of hydraulic fracturing – or splitting rocks using pressurised fluids to push out the fuel held within.

Q Why is it so controversial?

A Last year, fracking was halted in Blackpool after earth tremors were detected. There are also ongoing investigations into whether the process sends potentially dangerous chemicals into the water supply.

Q What are the benefits of shale gas?

A It provides useful new supplies at a time of uncertainty over the world’s future energy needs.