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Shale gas research funding launched

Bids for a share in £8M of research funding to look at unconventional hydrocarbons have been invited by the Natural Environment Research Council and Economic (NERC) and Social Research Council.

NERC has said that the research is aimed at answering controversial questions regarding possible groundwater contamination, induced seismicity, air quality and greenhouse gas emissions that currently prevent use of shale gas as an energy resource.

The organisation has said that the outcome of the research programme will be the provision of an updated independent scientific evidence base to understand potential environmental and socio-economic impacts of unconventional hydrocarbon development.

The research will be aimed at addressing five challenges that look at the evolution of the landscape; resource potential and distribution; taking the resource from reservoir to surface; contaminant pathways and receptors; and the socio-economic impacts.

Full proposals must be submitted by the end of November but interest to submit must be made by 3 November. NERC will host an event on 3 October in Birmingham to provide a forum for discussion on each challenge and create the opportunity to broker collaboration and partnerships for the bids.

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