Well, it all depends which newspaper you read!

Regardless of the controversy, there are serious pros and cons at the heart of the shale debate – but is it really any different to any other oil and gas discovery? In all cases, the risks must be weighed against the benefits.

That’s why it was refreshing to see David Bamford of New Eyes Exploration call for a return to common sense on the issue. As he summarised at the Finding Petroleum exploration event this month, we need to go back to basics at the start of all shale-related business and media conversations. The key issue in all unconventional exploration is establishing if it can be produced at conventional rates – until this is confirmed all other thoughts should be on hold.

A perfect example of this common sense media conversation came this week in the form of Jon Snow’s Channel 4 interview with Cuadrialla Resources’ Lord Browne. Browne took the conversation back to economics as the starting point, without dismissing other concerns. This was just the kind of performance you’d expect from someone with Lord Browne’s experience and is a great example to the industry.

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