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UK local authority recommends approval for Cuadrilla fracking permit

15 June 2015

Shale gas developer Cuadrilla Resources received a boost in its plan to start fracking in north west England on June 15 when local government recommended that its application to drill up to four exploration wells should be granted. The company's project at Preston New Road near Blackpool could become Britain's first shale gas production site.

A Cuadrilla exploratoration rig in Sussex
A Cuadrilla exploratoration rig in Sussex

This could lead a drive to develop unconventional onshore hydrocarbon resources as Britain's North Sea gas and oil production declines.

The council, however, recommended another application for a nearby site at Roseacre Wood should not be granted because its construction work would create too much traffic.

The recommendations are proposals made by local officials to Lancashire County councillors who will make final decisions on the applications next week.

"We will await the Councillors’ decisions on both these applications at the end of June," Cuadrilla said in a statement.

Obtaining planning permits has been the biggest obstacle to shale gas developments, and the applications by Cuadrilla have been held up for months. The UK Government is considering new legislation to speed up planning applications for onshore hydrocarbon developments.

Shale gas fracking is opposed by environmentalists, who claim the method of blasting water and chemicals at rock formations to release trapped gas can contaminate ground water and cause earth tremors.

As well as Cuadrilla, IGas Energy has plans to start fracking in the area.

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