Fracking Threat: Lancashire Communities Resist Cuadrilla’s Drilling Plans
Fracking company Cuadrilla Resources is continuing to try to erect a drilling rig on its site at Preston New Road in Lancashire. The VDD 370.1 Synergy I (PDF) rig owned and operated by German drilling contractor DrillTec GUT GmbH is being shipped in via in the east coast port of Immingham in Lincolnshire, on the Humber Estuary. A new phase of the resistance to fracking in Lancashire is now beginning as Cuadrilla tries to bring large amounts drilling equipment onto the site, and Lancashire communities try to make it as slow and costly for them as possible.
The fact that Drilltec is based in Deggendorf, Bavaria, almost a thousand miles from Lancashire highlights the global nature of the oil & gas industry and ease with which fracking can permeate national boundaries. The Drilltec Synergy 1 rig parts are arriving on dutch trailers pulled by haulage contractors from the Humber Estuary area, after being shipped in via the port of Immingham. However, other drilling equipment is being transported from other parts of the country, in particular the North Sea oil industry hubs of Aberdeen and Great Yarmouth. The drilling rig alone requires many dozens of HGV loads to move and will require continual resupply with drill pipe, casing, fuel etc. over the many months of drilling.
With construction of the Frack Pad at Preston New Road in Lancashire coming to a close months behind schedule, attention is turning to the next phase of this fracking threat. Communities across the country are mobilising in response and there are active blockades at both Preston New Road in Lancashire and PR Marriott (Cuadrilla’s primary drilling contractor) near Chesterfield, disrupting the movement for fracking trucks. If you can’t get to Preston New Road or PR Marriott, will fracking trucks be passing near you. In many cases fracking trucks which are disrupted from making the trip in one day are laying up somewhere en route. Where are they hiding?
The Preston New Road site is Cuadrilla’s flagship fracking test project, where they have planning permission (from central government) to drill and hydraulically fracture 4 shale gas wells. This would involve more than 20,000 vehicle movements in and out of the PNR site, as fracking trucks bring equipment and materials and dispose of waste, to and from support sites across the country. Take a look at our factsheet and find out what support sites could be near you.
Cuadrilla’s speculative business model means that they need good results from these test to get more investment, but that includes not just what they find under ground but the level of resistance they encounter. That is where communities across the country come in – by making Cuadrilla’s fracking plans as difficult, slow and expensive as possible!
Check out our factsheet about Cuadrilla’s plans, your community may be threatened with impacts (e.g. fracking waste being dumped or transported through your community) even if you live hundreds of miles from Lancashire.