Fracking hits delays

Cuadrilla Resources has announced that hydraulic fracturing at its Lytham site has been put on hold whilst a number of other locations are investigated.

CuadrillaThe company said it had taken note of protests from the public and will be drilling horizontal wells deep under the countryside whilst it carries out environmental studies.

Cuadrilla intended to begin operation at Anna’s Road, near Lytham, this year. However, concerns over migrating birds prevents work being undertaken between October and March, and so operations have been postponed until 2014.

Exploration is underway at Banks, between Preston and Southport, and Cuadrilla has obtained approval to work at three further sites on the Fylde coast. The ‘handful’ of new sites are likely to take priority as the company deals with fracking’s poor public image.

Exploration caused minor earthquakes in Blackpool in 2011, although the government later deemed the practice to be safe and allowed it to continue under stricter regulation.

“It is going to take longer than we had thought and we would rather it happened quicker, but we are setting the standard for the industry,” said chief executive Francis Egan. “We will do whatever it takes to meet our targets in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.”