Shale gas and oil are known as ‘unconventional’ fuel sources due to the techniques used to extract them. These techniques, commonly referred to as ‘fracking’, are considered controversial in the UK.
In October 2012 the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) – which, in 2016, became the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) – with the support of Sciencewise commissioned a public dialogue. It sought to explore public perceptions of unconventional gas and oil in the UK.
The process consisted of two-waves of workshops involving a total of 71 members of the public. These were held in Liverpool, Northampton and Winchester between October 2012 and December 2014. The process was delivered by TNS-BMRB and independently evaluated by Icaro Consulting.
The findings of the public dialogue were used by DECC to develop public engagement strategies, including local events around shale gas and oil.