In the October Newsletter:
After the Earthquakes
Can the Environment Agency Properly Regulate Fracking?
Contaminated Water Tankered to Leeds
Hostile Environment for Fracking
Quote of the Month
Across the UK, Local Authorities, and Devolved Administrations, are seeking to use their planning powers to block the development of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. This is against UK Government policy. Here, Dr Sarah Mander from the School of Mechanical, Aerospace & Civil Engineering looks at what all of this could mean for the future of shale in the UK.
The business secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has confirmed that Cuadrilla will not be allowed to resume fracking at its Preston New Road site near Blackpool until last month’s record-breaking tremor has been investigated.
Mr Kwarteng made the statement in a letter to the local Conservative MP, Mark Menzies.
Fylde MP Mark Menzies has held a meeting with the Oil and Gas Authority to reiterate his call for an indefinite suspension of hydraulic fracturing on the Fylde coast.
Mr Menzies called for an end to fracking in the area following a 2.9MI tremor last month.
The activists blocked the entrance to the site on 10 September 2019 using a boat bearing the words “Planet before profit,” criticising Cuadrilla’s efforts to expand fracking in the UK through the development of the Preston New Road site and highlighting the environmental risks of fracking.
Speaking at a campaign meeting on the Aurora Energy Resources’ application, MP Rosie Cooper told opponents:
“Who is going to look after your interests if it’s not you? It is really important that you are here. “Keep doing what you are doing.”
A plan to drill and frack near important wildlife sites in Sefton and West Lancashire should not be approved, the government’s nature conservation adviser has warned.
The future of fracking in Britain was thrown further into doubt last night after it emerged that Cuadrilla Resources shareholders were looking to exit the business.
Cuadrilla’s backers hired the Royal Bank of Canada several months ago to explore strategic options, Bloomberg reported.
Any moves towards a sale are likely to be complicated by the fact that fracking has been suspended pending the outcome of an Oil & Gas Authority investigation after Cuadrilla caused a 2.9 magnitude tremor in Lancashire last month.
Cuadrilla Resources is 48 per cent owned by AJ Lucas, an Australian company controlled by Kerogen, the private equity group. A further 45 per cent is owned by Riverstone Holdings, another private equity group, with the remainder held by Cuadrilla employees. Kerogen and Riverstone had hired RBC, Bloomberg said.
Cuadrilla believes there could be significant gas reserves beneath Lancashire. Extracting it involves fracking: pumping water, sand and chemicals into the ground at high pressure to fracture the rocks.
Kerogen declined to comment and Riverstone could not be reached.
Cuadrilla has received an official warning over failing to monitor groundwater properly at its Preston New Road fracking site.
An investigation by the Environment Agency (EA) found that the company had breached three conditions of its environmental permit, including at a time when fracking was underway.
This is the third formal warning reported by the EA in just over a year at Preston New Road.