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Exploratory drilling activity on the part of shale gas developers remains low despite widespread coverage in the media and announcements that the UK is to “go all
out for shale”. Although regulation must remain thorough and robust, there is a risk that the complex approvals process will hinder production. Industry, government
and regulatory authorities should ensure that the institutional capacity is in place to make the approvals process efficient so that the potential benefits of shale gas can be realised.