‘Fracking’ earthquakes research

A new study says tremors caused by the controversial fracking gas extraction process are so usually so small they cannot be felt on the surface

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‘Fracking’ plans on hold in Lancashire

Cuadrilla Resources, the company behind Lancashire’s controversial ‘fracking’ industry has put its exploration plans on hold until next year until an environmental impact assessment (EIA) takes place.

The Banks site near Southport Credit: Press Association

The company said the assessments are "business as normal" for Cuadrilla.

Those in favour of the controversial drilling technique say fracking is safe and could help stop us importing gas from abroad.

Those against talk about pollution to our water supplies and claim it causes small earthquakes.

Fracking gets government backing

A controversial drilling technique which splits opinion now has government approval.

Those in favour say fracking is safe and could help stop us importing gas from abroad. Those against talk about pollution to our water supplies and claim it causes small earthquakes.

Cuadrilla halted drilling on the Lancashire coast last year after two earth tremors near Blackpool.

But today the Government said it could go ahead but with stricter controls than before.

Cuadrilla already has a licence to explore 12-hundred square kilometres, mainly close to Blackpool and Lytham and St Annes.

There's some hope that consumers could see a fall in their gas bills.

Ben Schofield has more.

Cuadrilla - 'the water supply is safe'

The government has given the go-ahead for controversial gas extracting technique fracking to in Lancashire.

The company, Cuadrilla, was stopped from fracking after two tremors on the Fylde Coast.

There was concern after a documentary showed people able to light water coming from their taps.

In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigated complaints from residents in Pavillion, Wyoming who complained that fracking was affecting their drinking water.

The firm say the technique is safe, will create jobs but won't necessarily cheapen our gas bills. Play video for more.

Anti fracking campaigners - 'government strategy is utterly insane'

The Government has given the green light for "fracking" for shale gas to resume in Lancashire.

Moves by gas company Cuadrilla to exploit the unconventional gas were put on hold 18 months ago after fracking, which uses high-pressure liquid to split rock and extract gas, caused two small earthquakes.

The long expected announcement that the government will allow fracking companies to continue attempts at exploitation of unconventional gas is the start of a major battle over what sort of world we will leave to our children.

The government and industry’s promises of cheap, abundant gas are deluded. In the US the gas bubble has already burst with fracking companies on the verge of bankruptcy. Drilling has ground to a halt and gas prices have doubled since the begining of the year”

The governments strategy of relying on fracking to fuel a new wave of gas fired power stations is utterly insane.

– Lilly Morse, Campaigner, Frack Off

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Cuadrilla release statement on fracking

Cuadrilla sees today’s announcement as a significant step in the future development of the UK’s onshore gas industry.

The company is ready to move ahead with its plans, involving the hydraulic fracturing and flow testing of a number of wells in Lancashire in 2013.

Before these further exploration and testing plans can proceed, Cuadrilla will work closely with DECC and its representatives, Lancashire County Council, the Environment Agency, the HSE, the local communities and other relevant parties to obtain regulatory approvals and planning permission.

“Today’s news is a turning point for the country's energy future. Shale gas has the potential to create jobs, generate tax revenues, reduce our reliance on imported gas, and improve our balance of payments.”

"Our exploration has shown that under Lancashire there is a belt of gas-filled shale over one mile thick. Today’s decision will allow continued exploration and testing of the UK’s very significant shale resources in a way that fulfils the highest environmental and community standards.”

– Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla Resources.

In cooperation with DECC, Cuadrilla has already taken a number of steps to further reduce environmental risk. Key among these is an advanced system for seismic monitoring that allows Cuadrilla and DECC to closely monitor and regulate hydraulic fracturing activity.

Greenpeace: "Fracking dream is dangerous fantasy"

The Government has given the green light for "fracking" for shale gas to resume in Lancashire.

Greenpeace energy campaigner Leila Deen said: "George Osborne's dream of building Dallas in Lancashire is dangerous fantasy. He is not JR Ewing and this is not the US."

"Energy analysts agree the UK cannot replicate the American experience of fracking, and that shale gas will do little or nothing to lower bills.

"Pinning the UK's energy hopes on an unsubstantiated, polluting fuel is a massive gamble and consumers and the climate will end up paying the price."

– Greenpeace energy campaigner Leila Deen

The go-ahead for fracking to resume came as the Government's climate advisers warned that a continued reliance on gas would push up consumer bills by hundreds of pounds more than if there was a shift towards low-carbon power such as wind.

The Committee on Climate Change's chief executive, David Kennedy, dismissed claims that exploiting shale gas in the UK and Europe could push down gas prices.

He said it was not a "game changer" on this side of the Atlantic as it could only meet a relatively small share of gas demand.