Here's your favourite applied geophysicist talking to BBC Radio London about his comments:
At first glance, drilling in London seems a little crazy - surely there's not enough space! However, when you look across at the US, there is drilling in close proximity to large cities, most notably in and around Dallas-Fort Worth, where there are, for example, well pads within Dallas Airport, and on the University Campus. It is common practice to tuck these sites away in industrial estates, and to build pre-fab mock-buildings around the pad so that it cannot be seen.
However, I suspect that it will be a while before shale gas drilling ever comes to London. Firstly, it's not clear whether there's any gas under London to exploit - companies are at present looking further to the south, in places like Balcombe. The BGS will be releasing a report covering the south of England next year, so we will have to wait until then to know for sure whether there's anything under London.
Moreover, even if there is economically recoverable shale gas under London, I think it will be a while before anyone moves to try to extract it. Although drilling in urban areas is possible, it is more expensive and challenging than drilling in relatively empty countryside. Moreover, we've already seen that there are huge volumes of shale gas to the north. I suspect that companies will be focusing their energies on the Bowland for the coming years - this will be the formation that determines whether UK shale gas succeeds or fails.