Shale gas firm hails Preston as ‘frack friendly’

FRACKING: A worker at one of Cuadrilla's sites

FRACKING: A worker at one of Cuadrilla's sites

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Shale gas explorers Cuadrilla have welcomed what they see as Preston’s “positive” stance on fracking.

But the company, which is leading the chase to tap into Lancashire’s hidden energy reserves, is giving nothing away about the chances of relocating its administrative headquarters to the county.

As reported in yesterday’s Evening Post, Preston Council’s Environmental Scrutiny Panel will next week put the finishing touches to its response to the fracking debate. Unlike some local authorities in the UK,

Preston is refusing to declare itself a “frack free” city and even intends to push itself forward as a possible administration hub for the industry either regionally or even nationally.

The Panel says the city council should “cautiously accept” the industry as long as operators comply with all regulations and risk management processes.

In response a Cuadrilla spokesperson said: “We welcome the positive conclusions Preston City Council’s Environmental Panel have reached in their report.

“This follows an extensive review (by the Panel) of the shale gas industry that has included evidence being supplied from a variety of sources including independent regulators and experts.

“We note that these are recommendations that will be discussed by the panel next Tuesday and are still to be ratified by the Council. But we see this as a very positive potential step forward as we continue to work hard to unlock Lancashire’s energy.

“We believe that the next few years will be an exciting time for both new and existing businesses in Lancashire that are ideally placed to take advantage of potential onshore gas production.

“That could bring very real benefits in terms of investment in jobs, communities, skills, innovation and technology.”