Almost all the areas being made available for fracking in England will be hit by new regulations restricting the controversial process, analysis suggests. Greenpeace renewed its call for a ban on fracking, as it said 97% of the areas made available for new onshore oil and gas licences would be at least partially affected by the new conditions. The Government has accepted Labour moves to ban fracking from national parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs), Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and some groundwater protection zones, areas which feed aquifers.
Proposals for “fracking” for shale gas at two sites in Lancashire should be refused, planning officers have recommended. Lancashire County Council has published reports with recommendations on planning applications from shale company Cuadrilla to develop two new sites to explore for shale gas by drilling, fracking and testing the flow of gas. The council’s development control committee is due to make decisions next week on the planning applications for the two sites, at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton, and Roseacre Wood, near Roseacre, both between Blackpool and Preston.
Geology experts will carry out independent monitoring of two fracking sites in Lancashire if they are given the green light. The British Geological Survey (BGS) said it will expand its national monitoring programmes for environmental issues, including seismic activity and groundwater, to carry out detailed research in areas of the UK that may see shale gas extraction. This will include independent analysis of the controversial process of fracking at two proposed shale sites in Lancashire, if they are giving planning permission.
Europa Oil & Gas has decided to keep its WF9 well on its West Firsby field in the East Midlands Petroleum Province shut in for the foreseeable future due to low oil prices. The company said production is continuing on five of the six wells it operates across the Crosby Warren, Whisby and West Firby fields. It said it would reconsider whether to carry out recompletion of WF9 should the oil price recover to “a level at which the well would become economic”.
Egdon Resources has received planning consent from Lincolnshire County Council for drilling and testing of the North Kelsey-1 exploration well. The project is located 10 kilometres to the South of the Wressle-1 discovery well in PEDL180. The company said the prospect is defined on 3D seismic data and has the potential for up to four stacked reservoir intervals in the Chatsworth, Beacon Hill, Ravensthorpe and Santon sandstones.
The onshore hydrocarbon producer, IGas, has spudded a well in the North West of England. IGas said the vertical exploration well at Ellesmere Port in Chesire is the next to be drilled in a sequence designed to give the company a “suite of results” from a number of wells distributed across its licensed areas in the region.