Campaigners hail 'death of fracking' in UK as work stops at Lancashire site

Protestors have hailed the 'death of fracking' in the UK (Picture: REUTERS/Peter Powell)
Protestors have hailed the 'death of fracking' in the UK (Picture: REUTERS/Peter Powell)

Anti-fracking protestors have hailed the ‘death of fracking’ in the UK after major company Cuadrilla reportedly started removing equipment from its testing area in Lancashire.

The move comes after fracking at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire was blamed for a series of minor earthquakes in August.

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Earlier this month, Friends of the Earth welcomed news that fracking wouldn’t take place at the site before permission expired at the end of the November.

The news was contained in a Cuadrilla statement announcing that flow testing would begin at the site - something campaigners describes as a “desperate attempt to put a positive spin on the fracking fiasco at Preston New Road”.

Protestors welcomed news that fracking won't continue at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire (Picture: PA)
Protestors welcomed news that fracking won't continue at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire (Picture: PA)

As equipment was reportedly removed from the site, Friends of the Earth fracking campaigner Jamie Peters told the Sunday Times: “Fracking in the UK is now dead. Cuadrilla’s test drilling at Preston New Road was the flagship scheme — and it’s gone badly.

“To get this industry off the ground, regulations would need to be relaxed, and that’s just not going to happen after those August quakes and the growing environmental concerns around fossil fuels.”

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In August a series of seismic ‘events’ - one measuring a magnitude of 2.9 - stopped work at the site.

Claire Stephenson, who lives near the site and is a member of a local anti-fracking campaign group, told the Sunday Times: “It’s been great seeing Cuadrilla taking their equipment away.

The site in Lancashire experienced a series of tremors in August (Picture: PA)
The site in Lancashire experienced a series of tremors in August (Picture: PA)

She added: “It’s dying — and that’s good not just for us in Lancashire, but for every other community around the country where there is a potential fracking site.”

Yahoo News UK has contacted Cuadrilla. In a statement on September 30, the company said: “Cuadrilla confirmed it continued to assist the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) on a series of technical studies arising out of a seismic event measuring 2.9ML on the Richter scale, which occurred on August 26, 2019.

“A timeframe has not been agreed with the OGA for this work to be completed and further hydraulic fracturing will not take place at Preston New Road before current planning permission for fracturing expires at the end of November.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industry told the Sunday Times: “The government has always said shale gas exploration can only proceed as long as it is safe and environmentally responsible.

“We are expecting a finalised scientific assessment of recent industry data from the Oil and Gas Authority shortly and will set out our future approach as soon as we have considered the findings.”

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