Frack­ing to be­gin in Bri­tain:

Arab Times - - IN­TER­NA­TIONAL -

En­ergy com­pany Cuadrilla will be­gin frack­ing Bri­tain’s first hor­i­zon­tal shale-gas well on Satur­day af­ter the High Court in Lon­don dis­missed a last-minute re­quest for an in­junc­tion by en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists.

“We are de­lighted to be start­ing our hy­draulic frac­tur­ing op­er­a­tions as planned,” Fran­cis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said in a state­ment.

The pro­ject in Lan­cashire, north­west Eng­land, has at­tracted much con­tro­versy and was op­posed by lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, res­i­dents and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists, who launched le­gal ac­tion to block op­er­a­tions.

But judge Michael Sup­per­stone ruled that he did “not con­sider that any of the grounds of chal­lenge raise a se­ri­ous is­sue to be tried.”

He also re­fused a re­quest by the lo­cal Lan­cashire County Coun­cil for a ju­di­cial re­view of emer­gency plan­ning pro­ce­dures re­gard­ing the site, nes­tled in the Lan­cashire coun­try­side.

The com­pany has com­pleted two hor­i­zon­tal shale-gas wells – 2,300 me­tres and 2,100 me­tres be­low the sur­face, at the site.

It will test the flow of nat­u­ral gas within the wells, with ini­tial re­sults ex­pected in the new year.

“If com­mer­cially re­cov­er­able this will dis­place costly im­ported gas, with lower emis­sions, sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic ben­e­fit and bet­ter se­cu­rity of en­ergy sup­ply for the UK,” said Egan.

Frack­ing uses hy­draulic pres­sure to break up un­der­ground rock, al­low­ing the flow of pre­vi­ously trapped gas. Lo­cals and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists ar­gue that frack­ing dam­ages tourism, con­tam­i­nates wa­ter sup­plies, hurts wildlife, causes earth­quakes and con­trib­utes to global cli­mate change.

Cuadrilla’s first at­tempt at frack­ing seven years ago was ended af­ter it trig­gered mi­nor earth­quakes, putting their plans on hold while more strin­gent mea­sures were put in place. (AFP)

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