‘Frack­ing’s not an is­sue for us’

Firms show no in­ter­est so far in county

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Lor­can Lovett lor­can.lovett@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

THE con­tro­ver­sial process of frack­ing to ex­tract shale gas re­mains un­likely to hap­pen in Bucks, says county coun­cil leader Martin Tett.

The Govern­ment in­vited firms to bid for on­shore oil and gas li­censes across Bri­tain on Mon­day, July 28. Drilling in ar­eas of nat­u­ral out­stand­ing beauty (AONBs), such as the Chilterns, will be put un­der tighter reg­u­la­tion.

How­ever, Mr Tett says he is un­aware of any in­ter­est from firms frack­ing in Bucks.

The coun­cil does not have one blan­ket pol­icy on frack­ing and Mr Tett says it would con­sider each ap­pli­ca­tion individually if have re­ceived is a mark of their per­for­mance skills and tal­ent.

“You will be watch­ing the stars of the fu­ture at the very start of their ca­reer.” firms did show in­ter­est, adding: “As far as I’m aware there are no real de­posits in Bucks which are com­mer­cially vi­able and I’m not aware of any in­ter­est (from com­pa­nies).

“We are not cov­ered by any of the maps (which show po­ten­tial shale gas re­sources in Bri­tain). At the mo­ment it is not an is­sue for us. We would look at any ap­pli­ca­tion on its mer­its as it comes in.”

The frack­ing process in­volves pump­ing wa­ter and chem­i­cals into shale rock at high pres­sure to ex­tract gas.

Shale gas is seen as a way of en­sur­ing rel­a­tively cheap en­ergy sup­plies, ut crit­ics have warned of pos­si­ble side ef­fects in­clud­ing con­tam­i­na­tion of ground wa­ter and earth­quakes.

Com­pa­nies granted a li­cence to be­gin test drilling will also need plan­ning per­mis­sion and en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mits.

Claire For­rest, from the Chilterns AONB Con­ser­va­tion Board said they would ob­ject to frack­ing in the area.

She said: “As an or­gan­i­sa­tion it is our fun­da­men­tal re­mit to pro­tect the nat­u­ral beauty of the Chilterns.

“Any­thing which might dam­age its char­ac­ter we would not be in favour of.”

Sites in the coun­try ear­marked for frack­ing have sparked protests from en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists.

Ac­tion group No Frack­ing Bucks has been set up but has not ac­knowl­edged any par­tic­u­lar shale gas sites in the county.

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