Cuadrilla produces first shale gas amid controversies

Energy company Cuadrilla has announced its first natural gas flow produced by fracking in Lancashire. Cuadrilla described the news as significant and indicative of the potential of the site. 

“The volumes of gas returning to surface at this stage are small”, said chief executive Francis Egan.

“However, considering that we are only at the very start of fracturing operations and, given operating constrains, have not yet been able to inject as much sand into the shale as we had planned, this is a good early indication of the gas potential that we have long talked about.”

This comes after Labour MP Rosie Cooper addressed an open letter to Energy Secretary Greg Clark calling for fracking to be banned due to the 1.1 magnitude tremor at the site on Monday. 

“I find it remarkable that despite the clear rejection of fracking by the people of Lancashire, and the numerous warnings that drilling would cause seismic activity, the government decided it would push fracking through and impose it on the residents of Lancashire against their will with scant regard for local residents’ concerns,” Cooper said in the letter co-signed by six other MPs. 

More than 30 earthquakes have been recorded since fracking began at the Preston New Road site near Little Plumpton two weeks ago. In 2011, Cuadrilla had to suspend test fracking operations near Blackpool after two other earthquakes of 1.5 and 2.2 magnitude hit the area. 

Photo credit: US Environmental Protection Agency

Fracking allows drilling firms to access difficult-to-reach resources of oil and gas, yet drilling for shale is still at an exploratory phase. It is suggested that trillions of cubic feet of shale gas may be recoverable from beneath parts of the UK. The practice is already happening in the US.

More than 100 licences have been granted by the government, allowing firms to conduct a range of oil and gas exploration activities in certain areas.

Cuadrilla was the only company to receive final consent to begin fracking.

Words: Teodora Agarici | Subbing: Maria Campuzano

Photo credit: jwigley on Pixabay

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