Fracking set to resume in Lancashire in bid to prove shale gas industry is commercially viable
Fracking activities are set to resume in an area that was hit by two minor earthquakes linked to the controversial technology.
Energy firm Cuadrilla said it was stepping up its activities and hoped to drill up to nine new wells in the Lancashire countryside outside Blackpool in a bid to prove the shale gas industry was economically viable.
Local campaigners and green groups criticised the news claiming there were still unanswered questions over the environmental effects of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and dismissed claims by the company that it could lead to lower domestic gas prices.
Cuadrilla said it intended to apply for consent to drill and frack at up to six new sites in addition to an existing one on the Fylde and to apply for planning permission for a further three test wells. It was also considering seeking the go-ahead to frack on a second established site.
Chief executive, Francis Egan, said: “The purpose of all our on-going exploratory work is to demonstrate that natural gas can be produced from the shale in commercial quantities. By sharing our plans for the exploratory programme, we hope that people will have an understanding of what we plan to do and why.”
Fracking – in which water, sand and chemicals are used to blast natural gas from shale rock - was halted in Britain in 2011 following two minor earth tremors believed to have been most likely caused by the process. The Government lifted restrictions in December 2012.
The six new proposed sites could become the first to be fracked since the tremors. Controversy over the technology has seen campaigners occupy one of the company’s rigs at a drilling site.
John Hobson of the group Defend Lytham said local people were not being given a “clear or accurate story”. He said there remained concerns over the impact on over wintering birds at one site and that the lack of detail left residents in the dark.
“We have no doubt that when the detail of Cuadrilla’s plans starts to emerge the local community will make their feelings very clear to the planning officers at Lancashire County Council,” he said.
Last week the Coalition signalled the go-ahead for the industry, promising tax breaks for exploration and proposing that communities receive at least £100,000 per fracking well and one per cent of future revenues.
A survey by the British geological Society suggested shale gas reserves were present across much of northern England.
Friends of the Earth’s North West Campaigner Helen Rimmer, said many more communities across Lancashire would find themselves affected.
“Local people are already mobilising against the threat of fracking and others are bound to follow when they see the threat shale gas poses to their environment and quality of life. Shale gas is not the solution to the UK's energy challenges. It will keep the nation hooked on climate-changing fossil fuels and do little to cut household energy bills,” she said.
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
Actress sees off speculation about her face in an amazing way
Marvel has released first teaser trailer week early after it leaked online
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nelson Bunker Hunt dead: Former world’s richest man dies in 'modest circumstances' in US after losing his fortune
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...
£21500 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Randstad Education ar...
£20000 - £22000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful and w...
£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a quailed Teacher ...