The UK Government have announced their intention to stop fracking following widespread concern at the Preston New Road site.
As part of the Government’s election campaign, they have announced that no new licenses for fracking will be issued to any companies in the UK and current licenses will not be renewed.
A series of earth tremors have been felt in Preston caused by the country’s only horizontally drilled fracked wells. The license for Cuadrilla to drill at the Preston New Road site finishes at the end of November. It’s understood that the company have yet to ask for a renewal and, under the Government’s new plans, are unlikely to be granted one even if they applied.
Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “On the basis of the disturbance caused to residents living near Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site in Lancashire and this latest scientific analysis, the Government has announced a moratorium on fracking until compelling new evidence is provided.”
“Whilst acknowledging the huge potential of UK shale gas to provide a bridge to a zero carbon future, I’ve also always been clear that shale gas exploration in the UK must be carried out safely.
Fracking was suspended at the end of August after activity by Cuadrilla Resources – the only company licensed to carry out the process – at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire caused a magnitude 2.9 earthquake.
Andrea Leadsom emphasises that this is not a ban – and the government is ‘following the science’.
However, scientists say it’s hard to see a time with our current technology that fracking in the UK that doesn’t cause earthquakes