The prime minister told MPs on the Liaison Committee that the opportunities surrounding the extraction of shale gas may represent a "gas revolution".
David Cameron was giving evidence to MPs on green government on 11 December 2012.
He said the use of the gas could be "transformative", adding: "That may be true, that may not be true. But it would be a big risk to just ignore what is happening in the gas market."
"We should have an open mind, and we should take part in fracking and unconventional gas as this could be a revolution we should be involved in," Mr Cameron said.
"America's success in unconventional gas is giving them much lower energy costs and that's seeing them reindustrialise."
Members of the committee - who are chairs of the Commons' select committees - also asked the prime minister questions about the future direction of policing and the criminal justice system.