Fracking to restart as activists fail to delay it
FRACKING for shale gas in Britain could restart today for the first time since the controversial process caused earthquakes in 2011.
The development comes after an environmental campaigner failed in his High Court bid to temporarily block energy firm Cuadrilla from fracking at its site at Preston New Road in Lancashire.
At a hearing in London yesterday, Mr Justice Supperstone dismissed Bob Dennett’s application for an interim injunction preventing Cuadrilla from fracking the UK’s first horizontal shale gas well pending a full legal challenge.
Fracking – or hydraulic fracturing – involves injecting liquid at high pressure into subterranean rocks to force open existing fissures and extract oil or gas. Critics claim the process is unsafe and environmentally damaging.
Fracking in the UK was stopped in 2011 after small earthquakes hit the Fylde coast in Lancashire. Mr Dennett claims Lancashire County Council’s emergency response planning and procedures for a fresh attempt are inadequate.
However, dismissing Mr Dennett’s application, the judge said: ‘I do not consider that any of the grounds of challenge raise a serious issue to be tried.’
On Thursday, Cuadrilla’s barrister Nathalie Lieven QC told the judge that the firm could begin fracking today, adding: ‘Every day, it costs Cuadrilla £94,000 to keep all that equipment on site.’