Superpowers Strike Deal Over Fracking

  • Date: 19/12/13
  • David Taylor, The Times

The United States and China have agreed an unprecedented partnership on fracking to accelerate the energy revolution promised by previously unreachable gas reserves.

Under the terms of the deal, agreed after Joe Biden, the US Vice President, visited Asia this month, America will share its expertise to help to promote “sound and rapid” development of Chinese exploration for shale gas.

America’s “shale gale” has already started to alter global dynamics profoundly but the next chapter could prove to be the most spectacular, creating the conditions for co-operation between two superpowers, challenging Russian and Middle Eastern dominance of energy markets, and offering at least a short-term gain in the battle to respond to climate change.

The partnership comes as David Cameron fears that the EU may kill off investment in fracking at a critical moment by demanding new laws to regulate the industry. The UK Government believes shale gas could support 30,000 jobs and cut household bills.

Mr Cameron wrote to José Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, warning that “our main competitors are already ahead of us”, citing the US and China.

Full story (subscription required)