New fracking figures based on ‘just one well’, campaign group claim

Cuadrilla fracking work in Lancashire
Cuadrilla fracking work in Lancashire

New figures on the potential for fracking in the UK are taken from “just one partly-fracked well”, according to a campaign group.

Friends of the Earth fossil free campaigner Tony Bosworth last night described numbers provided by United Kingdom Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) as “the rosiest of rose tinted” data.

Mr Bosworth added that the data provided by UKOOG was another “push” by the fracking industry for more government concessions.

UKOOG’s new shale gas forecast now places shale gas production at 5.5 billion cubic feet (BCF), nearly double the original estimate of 3.2 bcf in 2013.

The UKOOG claim this 72% increase in well production could see the generation of 64,000 jobs, £33bn in “supply chain benefits” and £1.8m spent locally through community and council benefits.

A spokesman for the UKOOG said last night it used results from two wells at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire and data from “samples” at the Tinker Lane and Springs Rond sites in Nottinghamshire.

Mr Bosworth said:“The shale gas industry appears to have strapped on the rosiest of rose-tinted glasses to look at the future.

“These new figures are mainly based on extrapolation from just one partly-fracked well.

“This is the latest industry attempt to push for more government concessions to make fracking easier.

“Ministers mustn’t water down the rules by allowing oil and gas firms to drill without planning permission, or cave into their demands to be allowed to trigger bigger earthquakes before having to down tools.”

Yesterday, Cuadrilla revealed it was “remobilising” to further frack two wells as a consequence of the UKOOG report.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said: “The latest forecasting is clear about this opportunity.

“Based on our early well results as published in January, estimates now show the UK could reduce its dependency on imported gas by 50% with just 60 sites.

“This is all achievable by simply investing in natural shale gas, establishing an energy policy that supports its development as part of a diverse energy mix and ensuring this significant resource is brought out of the ground to deliver these enormous benefits for everyone.”