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Every energy technology has associated risk

Researchers at Durham University have published a major report looking into the dangers of fracking. They say fracking, which involves fracturing rocks to release shale gas, is relatively safe. But drilling boreholes, whether for fracking or not, is potentially dangerous.

Richard Davies from Durham University says there is some sort of risk with every energy technology.

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Full report: Is fracking coming to Teesside?

The issue of fracking is being highlighted on Teesside after it was confirmed that the process could take place there, as well as in parts of North Yorkshire.

Shale gas is present beneath western Redcar, covering South Bank and Grangetown, as well as in Stockton.

Unsurprisingly, it has caused controversy, with some saying fracking is not welcome in the North East, while others claim it could be the boost needed in areas of high unemployment. Our Teesside Correspondent Rachel Bullock reports:

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Teesside fracking: Full statement

Christopher Massey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs, has explained how energy companies would have to go through many stages of permission before they would be able to carry out fracking on Teesside.

"The Government has granted some licences which concern, amongst other areas, an area stretching east of Middlesbrough to the western edge of Redcar covering South Bank, Grangetown and north of the River Tees.

These licences grant the power to 'search and bore for and get' the Crown's resources, such as oil and gas.

However, before anyone does this they must also approach Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, as the minerals planning authority, for planning permission for exploration.

This is just one of several consents they would require."

– Christopher Massey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs

"The council has not received any enquiries from energy companies in respect of exploratory fracking operations.

Furthermore, at this stage it is not known if the fracking technique would be required and it may by that our local gas resources could be mined by more conventional means."

– Christopher Massey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs

Government grants stage-one access to Teesside for fracking

The Government has granted access to land stretching east of Middlesbrough to the western edge of Redcar, covering South Bank, Grangetown and north of the River Tees for the purposes of extracting oil and gas.

Before anyone does that, they must also approach Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council for planning permission.

The council has not received any enquiries from energy companies about fracking.

Howell's U-turn: Your Twitter response

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@itvtynetees not so much born with a silver spoon, more of a spadeā€¦ stop digging m'lord ?

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@itvtynetees I c hes found reverse gear and cant peddle fast enough.The Lord needs to look @ todays date and realise its 2013 not 1313

Peer U-turn over "desolate" North East

Lord Howell
Lord Howell Credit: ITV News

Lord Howell says he didn't actually mean the North East when he said it had "desolate" areas which would be good for fracking.

He now says he meant "unloved" areas of the North West.

Lord Howell said that the North East of England was not "in his mind at all" and he meant "more the drilling going on off the Lancashire coast".

The Tory peer was forced to apologise on Tuesday after saying in the House of Lords there was "plenty of room" for controversial hydraulic fracturing drilling to take place in the North East without affecting the environment.

He's now says: "What was in my mind was much more the drilling going on off the Lancashire coast. But it came out of my mouth as the North East, which you can blame me for rightly. And that has created a great furore. The North East wasn't in my mind at all."

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