Gas industry in Parliament to call for fracking to be brought back

As gas exploration firm Cuadrilla starts work to seal off its wells in Lancashire, and gas supplies are threatened by Russia invading Ukraine, MPs and gas industry leaders met in Parliament to demand that the county is fracked once more.

By Tim Gavell
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 12:47 pm

Wycombe in Buckinghamshire, Tory MP Steve Baker called for the moratorium on fracking to be lifted despite it being linked with repeated earth tremors near people’s homes.

He said: “As preparations are made for cement trucks to fill in the UK’s last functioning shale gas wells, it is obscene that Russia's war crimes are being funded by Europe's addiction to their gas.

"If Europeans are to escape this trap, ministers must go for UK shale gas with all the vigour of a national war effort.

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The fracking wells at Preston New Road are being filled in by gas exploration firm Cuadrilla following orders from the Oil and Gas Authority which followed on from the Government's moratorium on fracking after it caused a series of earth tremors felt across the Fylde.

"Under the Government's plans, we will need vast quantities of gas even as renewables are ramped up. It is time for all of us to listen to facts, not scare stories.”

Charles McAllister, policy manager at UK Onshore Oil and Gas, which was also at the meeting, said: “Our Bowland Hodder shale gas resource is world class and could have been providing a consistent, reliable and affordable source of energy for UK homes and businesses for the last decade if the Government hadn’t relied on myths, loudspeakers and asymmetrically applied regulation for their oil and gas strategy.

“A failure to develop UK shale gas could readily see the UK send £1trn overseas to exporters of natural gas over the next 28 years.

"UK shale gas is forecast to have a carbon intensity one quarter of that of the liquefied natural gas the UK is increasingly shipping in from Russia, Qatar and the USA.”

But anti-fracking campaigners said fracking would need hundreds of wells drilling across Lancashire and would go against UK carbon reduction targets.

A spokesman said: “Certain politicians and climate change deniers are trying to use the desperate situation in Ukraine to galvanise the twitching corpse of UK fracking.

"It is really shocking that they should try to use the immense suffering of an entire nation in this way.

“The Government has been clear that fracking must not be allowed to restart unless the companies involved are able to demonstrate conclusively that they can control the risks associated with seismicity. They simply cannot do this.

“At the same time, there is a growing wave of people who have lined up to tell us that UK fracking will not reduce energy prices and will not have a material impact on supply levels. These include Government spokesmen, Lord Browne the ex-chair of Cuadrilla, and Iain Conn, ex-chief executive of Cuadrilla Investor, Centrica, who stated this week that it won’t be ‘possible to drill enough wells to be able to make a material difference to the UK's supplies’.”

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