Westminster Energy, Environment & Transport Forum

Next steps for the unconventional oil and gas market in the UK - planning changes, environmental regulation and tackling the scale-up challenges

Morning, Thursday, 4th April 2019

Central London


This timely conference discusses the next steps for growing the unconventional oil and gas market in the UK.

It takes place at a time of significant policy development, including recent consultations on changes to the planning process for potential hydraulic fracturing sites, such as the possibility of including shale in the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (NSIP) regime.

With the introduction of blocks on fracking in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and resistance from some local authorities in England, including Manchester and London, delegates will consider the potential opportunities for industry and implications for local communities of moving shale gas into the NSIP regime.

They will also assess the effect across stakeholder groups of the current planning process and further options going forward, with discussion expected on challenges for putting into place key infrastructure, and on current environmental standards and assurances.

Sessions will look at next steps for environmental regulation, with the launch of the Shale Environmental Regulator Group and the compulsory community pre-application consultation for shale gas development.

We expect discussion on addressing the concerns of local communities and environmental campaigners - including water pollution, tremors and drilling emissions - as well as the opportunities for industry to expand community and stakeholder engagement.

Delegates will also assess the next steps for the current traffic light system and the implications of increasing the 0.5 magnitude threshold with the aim of improving productivity of onshore wells. 

As industry begins to produce shale gas from UK wells, further sessions will assess the next steps for overcoming barriers to the commercialisation of domestic shale into the UK energy mix - as well as questions around the economic viability of the sector and the implications for further investment and exploration for additional wells, taking into account oil price trends.

Keynote Speaker

Natascha Engel

Commissioner for Shale Gas, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Keynote Speakers

Charlotte Danvers

E&B Manager, Onshore Oil and Gas Programme, Environment Agency

Professor Mike Stephenson

Director of Science and Technology, British Geological Survey

Natascha Engel

Commissioner for Shale Gas, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy


Lord Truscott

former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Energy (2006-2007)


Patrick Robinson

Partner, Burges Salmon

Andrew Mullaney

Head of Planning & Environment, Lancashire County Council

Ken Cronin

Chief Executive, UKOOG

Tom Bartošák-Harlow

Director of External Affairs, CLA

Bill Whitelaw

Governance & Nominations Chair and Director, Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources; President and Chief Executive Officer, JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group and Director, UK Energy Strategies

Ian Campbell

Associate Environmental Scientist, AECOM