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Mixed feelings at fracking meeting

Cuadrilla public meeting on fracking, held at Pipers Height Caravan Park, Westby.

Cuadrilla public meeting on fracking, held at Pipers Height Caravan Park, Westby.

  • by Rebecca Draper
 

RESIDENTS living near to a fracking site have welcomed a meeting with its owners, Cuadrilla, over plans to complete a vertical well with a horizontal extension.

But feelings over the Annas Road platform in Westby remain mixed.

Cuadrilla has already begun digging the well at the site, but is applying to Lancashire County Council for permission to complete the vertical well with a horizontal expansion later this year.

The process, chief executive officer Francis Egan says, is part of the on-going process of assessing how much shale gas can be viably recovered from the ground.

Speaking at a consultation event at Pipers Height Caravan Park in Westby, Mr Egan said: “This is an opportunity for the public, particularly in this vicinity where we are looking to fracture, to come and find out what we are doing and have a one to one conversation.

“We are looking to drill one well at the Annas Road site, fracture it and do floor testing and take data from that.

“The drilling could be done in the next couple of months, if we get permission, the fracturing and testing could start in the summer some time.

“People are keen to know what we are doing, where we are doing it and are asking us about the fluid that goes in and comes out during the fracturing process.

“It’s good they have this chance to interact with us.”

Fracking is the process whereby high pressured 
water and chemicals are used to fracture the shale rock releasing gas which is then pumped to the surface.

But, while Sue Lancaster, of Jubilee Way, St Annes, agreed it was a good opportunity, she said she was still opposed to the process and wanted answers on the quality of the cement going into the well.

Linda Salter, of Brompton Close, Ansdell, said she was worried about the effect of the gasses coming from the site.

But Dawn Carter, of Heyhouses Lane, St Annes, said Friday’s event had given her more information about the fracking process.

She said: “I still don’t know how I feel about it.

“I believe it does have the potential to ruin our area, but Cuadrilla has some extremely knowledgeable people who have helped to put my mind at rest a bit.

“They have informed me of quite a lot of things that are better than I thought.

“I do think everyone in the Fylde area needs to be vigilant and keep and eye on the process.”

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