Title: The contested future of fracking for shale gas in the UK: risk, reputation and regulation

Authors: Peter Jones; David Hillier; Daphne Comfort

Addresses: Business School, University of Gloucestershire, UK ' Centre for Police Sciences, University of South Wales, UK ' Business School, University of Gloucestershire, UK

Abstract: Large shale gas reserves have recently been identified under many parts of the UK and the development pressure for detailed exploration, and possibly the commercial exploitation of these reserves by hydraulic fracturing, popularly described as fracking, is growing rapidly. Although exploration for shale gas is still at an early stage in the UK, the possible future development of shale gas by fracking has generated a wide range of environmental concerns. Two linked factors, namely the presence of a robust regulatory regime and the need for the gas industry to control reputation risk, seem to be important in addressing these concerns and arguably in facilitating the future development of shale gas resources within the UK. With this in mind this paper describes the characteristics of shale gas and the process of fracking, outlines some details on current estimates of the distribution and volume of shale gas and of its commercial recovery within the UK, provides a short commentary on the environmental risks associated with exploration and development and rehearses some of the arguments on the role of the regulatory planning framework and on campaigns to win public opinion and to manage reputation.

Keywords: shale gas resources; hydraulic fracturing; fracking; reputation management; regulatory planning framework; UK; United Kingdom; environmental risks; regulation; environmental concerns; public opinion; risk assessment.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2015.072051

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2015 Vol.11 No.4, pp.377 - 390

Received: 10 Apr 2014
Accepted: 05 Aug 2014

Published online: 30 Sep 2015 *

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