Fracking was once claimed to be a way to safely and simply release vast quantities of oil from deep underground. The method consists of drilling holes down into the ground and then pumping liquid down at extremely high pressure to crack the rocks in force the oil/gas back up to the surface.
Estimates of the quantity of these fossil fuels under the earth vary wildly with low estimates suggesting 2.8 trillion cubic metres going up to around 39.9 cubic metres. However from the beginning of the push to start extracting these fossil fuels people have pointed out that there is no way we can extract any significant quantity of these fossil fuels and still meet our carbon cutting obligations.
Given the fact that it is clearly necessary for the world transition away from fossil fuels and that we cannot extract and burn the known fossil fuel reserves, fracking a whole new industry of extracting fossil fuels simply isn’t possible to fit into this structure.
The British government pushed it very hard which was very much not in line with their public facing promises to cut carbon emissions. Cuadrilla was drilling in Lancashire up until last November however at that point their licence expired and they have decided it is not worth refreshing it.
To be perfectly honest it was a foolish move with the government to push it. Even if the world was to succeed in pulling all the shell gas and oil out of the ground we were still have the problem of global warming, and in another period of time we would run out of the gas and oil anyway. Bringing in another fossil fuel source is not a good idea, we need small amounts available, to push the price up and therefore give large financial incentives to cut emissions and find other ways of doing things that do not use oil or gas. It is thought that solar and wind power alongside batteries and possibly hydrogen with water split it using electrolysis has the potential to power humanity in the future and the sooner we reach this point the better.