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Fracking report draws 'erroneous conclusions', UKOOG boss says

The boss of a UK oil and gas firm hit out at a report on fracking last night claiming the the paper “amounts to erroneous conclusions”.

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), said the new study also used “unrepresentative small datasheets” and “just 10% of the publicly available literature on the topic”.

The report, published by Cornell University yesterday, claimed fracking for shale gas had “dramatically increased” global methane emissions over the last ten years.

It added that, if fracking continues at the current rate, it will significantly increase global warming and undercut efforts to meet international targets.

The report’s author,  Professor Robert Howarth, described the impact of increased methane as “massive”.

Mr Cronin said: “The core tenet of the paper is that increases in global methane abundance have primarily been driven by shale gas production, based on the assumption that shale gas is ‘biogenic’ by nature.

“Regrettably for its author, academics from Royal Holloway, Cambridge, Bristol and other leading universities recently came to the conclusion that the evidence does not support this theory.

“Specifically in the case of the UK, they have stated that isotopic analysis of the core samples and gas flow data have confirmed that the resource has a distinct ‘thermogenic’ character.

“In reality, this failure to accept their conclusions, and recent literature which has shown that increases in atmospheric methane concentration have been primarily driven by biogenic sources, means the study has disregarded 90% of publicly available literature to come to its conclusion.”

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