A UK review by the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering has concluded that fracking can be undertaken safely, as long as "best practices are implemented and robustly enforced through regulation."
Fracking (short for hydraulic fracturing) is a process where highly-pressurized liquid is fired into the ground, splintering rocks many hundreds of metres below the surface. Oil and gas escapes, which is then collected up for fuel.
"There has been much speculation around the safety of shale gas extraction following examples of poor practice in the US," said Robert Mair, chair of the review's working group. "We found that the most common areas of concern, such as the causation of earthquakes with any significant impact or fractures reaching and contaminating drinking water, were very low risk."