The scale of the threat of Shale Gas in Yorkshire should not be underestimated. Rathlin Energy and Third Energy, two conventional oil and gas companies, have drilled deep wells to explore the eastern side of the Bowland Shale. Both companies have used used stealth to pursue their fracking endeavours and both now have plans to carry out hydraulic fracturing tests. In addition Third Energy have employed Tesla Exploration to conduct invasive seismic testing in their licence area.
Coal Bed Methane (CBM) exploration is also a concern in the region as Dart Energy (now IGas) has acquired a number of licence areas and drilled exploration wells. There are also two licenses issued by the Coal Authority for Underground Coal Gasification just offshore under the Humber estuary and Holdness coast.
Fracking (whether shale or CBM) involves intense drilling (usually 8+ wells per square mile). The UCG process is experimental and has never been tested offshore. All three technologies will produce vast quantities of liquid, solid and gaseous waste from every well drilled.
Communities across the region are getting organised to resist this fracking threat, of which these Rathlin and Third Energy’s mini-fracs could be just the first step. Commercial scale fracking could see the region coated with hundreds or thousands of wells, along with pipelines, an armada of hgv’s, compressor stations and associated infrastructure, which has a resulted in the toxic and radioactive nightmare seen in the US, Canada and Australia.
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