Cuadrillo Resources, a mining company with the influential former BP chief and cross-bench member of the House of Lords Lord Browne on board, is getting excited about the “first true shale gas” find in Europe – and it’s near those other Northern Lights, in Blackpool.
Shale gas is big business in the United States already, with Halliburton just one corporation ready to make and take big bucks using hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, to make the most around deposits.
Last November TechEye exposed how hydraulic fracturing is screwing up rural folk with careless projects that inexplicably were given the go-ahead.
The problem with fracking is that natural gases and chemicals involved in the process have an awkward tendency of finding themselves in the local water supplies. Robert Evans late last year says: “Over 250 different chemicals have been discovered in that ‘fluid’ so far, including carcinogens like benzene, arsenic and polycyclic aromatics.”
Not to mention the presumably unwanted side effect of, literally, setting your tap water on fire.
The Union of Concerned Scientists in the States rubbished an Environmental Protection Association (EPA) study which suggested fracking poses “little or no threat” to drinking water.
As if living in Blackpool, the only place in the world where you can ride a carousel and witness a mugging at the same time, wasn’t stressful enough: projects given the go ahead may mean the Illuminations could spread from the Promenade to sinks and bathtubs. Fortunately, the Co-Op Financial Services believes a thorough investigation is necessary before anything is greenlighted.
One company that is leaving well alone, for now, is Igas PLC – which confirmed to TechEye that, while it has discovered shale gas near Liverpool, it has no plans to make use of it for the foreseeable future.
According to the Guardian, the Department of Energy and Climate Change is unlikely to change its mind on decisions to wave through shale development. “Cuadrilla, currently operating near Blackpool, has made it clear that there is no likelihood of environmental damage resulting from its shale gas project, and that it is applying technical expertise and exercising the utmost care as it takes drilling and testing forward.”
It is possible to safely go ahead with shale gases, but the utmost care is required. If there is a risk of poisoning an entire city, perhaps more than promises are needed.