Make sure drilling safe

Fylde MP Mark Menzies
Fylde MP Mark Menzies
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RESIDENTS must have cast iron assurances gas drilling on the Fylde is safe, the area’s MP warned today.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies was responding to the results of an investigation which found two earthquakes this year were triggered by the activities of shale gas company Cuadrilla.

The report by the British Geological Survey (BGS) concluded the tremors were caused by fracking – the process used to extract shale gas from underground – but experts said the quakes were too small to cause any damage.

Mr Menzies welcomed the initial findings but said he wanted to see more evidence from independent sources.

He said: “As MP, I will be looking for extra reassurance and I am looking for independent evidence from geologists.

“I want continual analysis so we can be absolutely sure we have proved this will be good for the area. We know of the potential economic benefits which will bring jobs and is great news for Fylde.

“But we need as many reassurances as possible this process will be safe. It’s important we fully understand the issues and for that we need as many facts as possible.

“Therefore it’s important the people who are experts in this field are given the opportunity to carry out more research.”

In its report, the BGS said the correlations between the earthquakes and the time of fracking operations and the proximity of the quakes to the site, all pointed towards the earthquakes being a result of the fracking process.

But BGS seismologist Brian Baptie said the quakes were “still very small” even by UK standards and wouldn’t cause any damage.

He added “If fracking continued I couldn’t see the tremors getting much bigger.”

Low magnitude tremors were felt in Poulton in April and May.

Cuadrilla announced a potential 200 trillion cubic feet of gas beneath the Fylde coast.

They claim the industry locally could be worth £6bn and produce 1,700 jobs in the area.