British Prime Minister David Cameron's explicit backing of fracking – the controversial process of recovering gas and oil from rock, which has divided communities across the U.K. – was welcomed by analysts on Monday.
Cameron wrote an article in the The Daily Telegraph newspaper on Monday which said the U.K. could "not afford" to miss out on fracking because the "benefits were clear".
This unequivocal support of the process was welcomed by analysts, who said the economic benefits of fracking in the U.K. could be significant.
"I welcome the move. Anyone with an open mind can see the potential benefits of fracking so vastly outweigh any potential risks," Malcolm Bracken, oil analyst at Redmayne Bentley, told CNBC.
Likewise, Malcolm Graham-Wood, oil and gas analyst at VSA Capital, said Cameron was right to argue in favor of the process.
(Read more: US shale oil threatens to derail OPEC's future: IEA)
"We know there's lots of gas down there; we don't know whether we can get it out or not," he told CNBC. "But you've got to give it a chance. To not try – and you weigh this against potential problems – you risk missing out on a whole host of economic benefits."
Fracking, which is also known as hydraulic fracturing, involves directing a high-pressure water mixture into the earth to force gas out. Earlier this year, the British Geological Survey estimated there was around 40 trillion cubic meters (1,300 trillion cubic feet) of shale gas in the ground in the north of England.
But the process has become a matter of national debate in Britain, with protesters arguing the process could cause earthquakes, pollute the water supply and destroy the environment. Local residents have rallied against plans to build wells in their areas, and campaign groups like Frack Off have organized protests against "unconventional gas" which it says "threatens communities".
Cameron, however, insisted on Monday that fracking was safe and said international studies had proved there was no evidence it caused environmental damage, if properly regulated.
Bracken agreed: "Yes there are some environmental issues, such as the potential for methane leakage, but if it is tightly regulated, you can keep these at a minimum."