Lancashire expert quizzed by Peers

Lee Petts, founder and managing director of Preston-based Remsol, delivered an authoritative performance when quizzed by peers in the House of Lords last week (10th December 2013).

Giving evidence to the parliamentary select committee set up to examine the economic prospects of shale gas exploration and production, Lee said he sees shale gas as a potential economic boost for Lancashire as well as an environmental opportunity that can help Britain make the carbon cuts it wants to achieve.

Responding to a question from Lord Lawson of Blaby, and drawing on his eighteen years’ experience as an environmental management practitioner, Lee explained his view of the environmental risks that are often cited as concerns: "My perception of the risks associated with shale gas extraction suggests to me that it could be adequately controlled with the right control measures."

Lee made it clear that the UK regulatory regime for onshore oil and gas activities is robust and that he believes shale gas exploitation can be performed safely and responsibly provided the correct safeguards are in place.

Appearing alongside John Kersey, chairman of the Institute of Directors in Lancashire, and two members of a local group representing concerned residents in parts of the Fylde area of Lancashire, Lee addressed a number of the environmental concerns surrounding shale gas and hydraulic fracturing put to him by the committee including water use and wastewater disposal, groundwater pollution and tremors.

Remsol has helped Cuadrilla apply for the many environmental permits it needs to continue its exploratory work in Lancashire, but has also identified, tested and proven a safe and effective method of treating and disposing of the wastewater generated in the hydraulic fracturing process – a treatment Lee hopes to make available to other companies searching for shale gas.

The firm is also investigating options for recycling the wastewater at the drill sites in future so that it can be reused. “Obviously, if we can identify an acceptable means of treating the wastewater in-situ for operators to reuse, it will mean fewer road tankers visiting to take it away.”