United Kingdom Opened Biddings for Shale Gas Development

October 29, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. marvelous /ˈmɑrvələs/ (adj.) – something extraordinary or wonderful
Example: The view from England’s famous Lake District is truly marvelous.

2. indulgent /ɪnˈdʌldʒənt/ (adj.) – indicating a generous and tolerant characteristic
Example: The government is willing to be indulgent for the underground drilling of fuel near the city.

3. unpopular /ʌnˈpɒpyələr/ (adj.) – not favored by many
Example: The new alternative to crude oil is still unpopular despite being economical.

4. industrialization /ɪnˌdʌstriələˈzeɪʃən/ (n.) – to become a place occupied with factories and businesses
ExampleIndustrialization has been introduced in several agricultural regions of the country.

5. contamination /kənˌtæm əˈneɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the act of making something infected or impure
Example: The construction of factories in the city caused water contamination.


Read the text below.
The British government has opened the bidding process for shale exploration and extraction in the United Kingdom.

Shale, a type of sedimentary rock, is known for being a cheaper and more stable energy source compared to other fuel sources. UK Minister of State for Business and Energy, Matt Hancock, said that the United Kingdom’s shale gas is a very promising investment that could provide energy security, jobs, and growth.

About half of the country is open for bids. The Department of Energy and Climate Change presented guidelines to preserve areas with marvelous beauty, world heritage sites, and national parks. The government pledged to be a bit indulgent with the planning rules and offered tax breaks to drillers to empower companies to start a fast shale extraction.

In July 2013, the Bowland Basin in northern England was dug for shale gas exploration. It has the capacity to hold 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas to supply the country for half a century by extracting only 10 percent.

Although the idea of shale gas venture is economical, the authorities should consider the unpopularity of shale extraction. High pressure via hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, is used to release the fuel trapped in underground shale rocks. According to Scientists for Global Responsibility and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health, this may cause water shortages and housing price decrease.

In addition, rivals fear that fracking may also cause water contamination, increase of heavy transport vehicles in narrow roads, and industrialization of the English countryside.

Louise Hutchins, a Greenpeace energy campaigner, said that the government is being reckless with its keenness to lead shale gas development in Europe which may harm sensitive regions sheltering aquifers.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think shale gas extraction is a good initiative? Why or why not?
·         What can the government propose to lessen the downsides of shale gas extraction?

Discussion B

·         What could be more eco-friendly sources of oil and gas? Kindly explain.
·         How do you think can people protect the environment while harnessing its benefits? Discuss with your tutor.

October 29, 2014