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Fracking in the UK is resuming on Saturday for the first time since 2011—when it was linked to earthquakes—after a court dismissed on Friday a last-minute request for an injunction.
The company that will go ahead with the fracking, Cuadrilla Resources, confirmed on Friday that it plans to go ahead with the start of hydraulic fracturing operations at its Preston New Road shale gas exploration site in Lancashire in northwest England on Saturday, October 13.
On Friday, Justice Supperstone at the High Court in London dismissed a last-minute request for an interim injunction from a campaigner to prevent this from happening.
“We are delighted to be starting our hydraulic fracturing operations as planned,” Cuadrilla’s chief executive Francis Egan said.
“We are now commencing the final operational phase to evaluate the commercial potential for a new source of indigenous natural gas in Lancashire. If commercially recoverable this will displace costly imported gas, with lower emissions, significant economic benefit and better security of energy supply for the UK,” Egan added.
In July this year, the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) issued its final hydraulic fracturing consent to Cuadrilla for its first horizontal shale gas exploration well at the Preston New Road site. In September, Cuadrilla received the consent for fracking a second horizontal well.
According to Cuadrilla, the hydraulic fracturing process that will begin tomorrow will take some three months to complete for both horizontal exploration wells. Cuadrilla will then test the flow of natural gas from those two wells with initial results expected in the New Year, the company said.
In May this year, the UK government announced plans to facilitate timely decisions on shale gas exploration planning applications in England as part of a plan to reduce dependence on gas imports amid an ongoing decline in the UK North Sea’s conventional gas production.
Campaigners have slammed those government plans and have been seeking to prevent fracking from returning in the UK, but today they were defeated in court, so fracking begins tomorrow.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.