Ground check starts new fracking phase

Goo-physical testing wagons at Singleton yesterday
Goo-physical testing wagons at Singleton yesterday
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Work has started on the latest phase of Lancashire’s ‘fracking’ revolution.

Huge wagons carrying testing equipment yesterday started to carry out geo-physical checks on farmland at Singleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde to start checks on the depth of shale rock under the countryside.

It is part of a testing programme carried out by Cuadrilla Resources, the company looking to tap into valuable gas locked in the rock.

The company has also confirmed it has looked at sites in the South Ribble countryside, close to the village of Much Hoole, to locate other drill rigs.

Documents released to campaign group Ribble Estuary Against Fracking (REAF) under Freedom of Information has shown the company looked at a site at Haunders Lane at Much Hoole, near Leyland nearly 18 months ago.

Today, Cuadrilla insisted it had “no intention” to carry out operations at the site which is just two miles from its test rig at Hesketh Bank, which it closed last month.

But, REAF member John Powney, 52, who lives on Guide Road, Hesketh Bank, said he had concerns about chemicals used in the ‘hydraulic fracturing’ process used to release the gas could pollute the water supply to his home.

His water supply comes from a well rather than mains water.

He said: “There obviously was an interest in that (Much Hoole) site and, should Cuadrilla which to extract gas from the Hesketh Bank location, it will need to site up other sites in the immediate area.

“Whether that is exactly on the spot shown by the documents we have seen or not, it will need to be somewhere in the vicinity of it.”

A Cuadrilla spokesman said that no decision had yet been taken on whether further work would be carried out at Hesketh Bank, which has now been ‘capped.’ with the potential to carry on work in the future.

He added: “Cuadrilla has assessed many sites for operations under exploration and we have no intention to progress our interest in the Much Hoole location and no operations are planned here.”