UK council defers shale gas permits

2015-01-28 17:40

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London - A local English government council has voted to delay a decision on whether shale gas firm Cuadrilla can progress with two fracking projects, in a case that is being closely watched by the industry and environmental campaigners.

Cuadrilla's projects near Blackpool in north west England are expected to become Britain's first shale gas production wells, kick starting the government's drive to develop the uncoventional resources to help stem a decline in North Sea energy reserves.

However council officials had last week proposed that the applications should be rejected when the council voted.

In response Cuadrilla, chaired by ex-BP boss John Browne, submitted additional documents on noise and pollution, two aspects which officials had criticised.

The council will now open additional proposals for public consultation for at least 8 weeks.

Shale gas fracking, a method whereby chemicals and water are blasted at rock formations to release trapped gas, has come under fire by environmentalists who are concerned about groundwater contamination and earth tremors.

Earlier this week, the British government fended off proposals from lawmakers to ban shale gas fracking outright and instead agreed to curb fracking in national parks.

Read more on:    fracking  |  environment

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