The nascent shale gas industry in Britain received a major boost after the recent North Yorkshire planning victory, which was the first fracking approval in the country in five years. While anti-fracking campaigners have made a great deal of noise about this development, what exactly will change going forward?
There were two days of hearings by the Conservative-led North Yorkshire county council’s planning committee before they voted seven to four in favour on the proposal by energy firm Third Energy, in the face of strong public opposition and protest. Third Energy plans to frack at a site near Kirby Misperton, but not in the near future.
“We have conditions from both the planning authority and the Environment Agency to discharge. There are other consents and notifications required prior to receiving final consent from the Secretary of State. Then there is the normal commercial and project management work, such as the letting of contracts and ordering of long lead items,” said Rasik Valand, Chief Executive of Third Energy. “So now we move on to the next stage of obtaining required approvals.”
Although the UK government is highly supportive of shale gas exploration, the industry has been hampered by delays and past problems. The last time fracking was attempted in Britain was in 2011 by Cuadrilla near Blackpool, but this venture proved unfruitful and after two minor tremors were caused by the operation, activity stopped and a temporary ban was imposed.
The full article, by Finbarr Toesland, is available in Issue 4 of Shale Gas International Magazine and can be found on page 25.