MILLIONS of pounds could be pumped into the local economy as part of a controversial gas drilling project expected to bring billions to the UK.
Cuadrilla Resources today revealed there is around 200 trillion cubic feet of gas under Lancashire – an amount it believes is enough to create a staggering 1,700 jobs locally over the next decade.
And the controversial company’s CEO Mark Miller has said, if Cuadrilla decide to press ahead with commercial drilling, the operation could be up and running by 2013.
Mr Miller said: “The amount of gas is a very sizeable number. It has our interest to the point where we feel we can start to think about what it will look like going forward and developing this.
“We’ve not made that decision yet but it is a large number.”
The company hopes 400 wells could be created in Lancashire over the next nine years – rising to 800 wells over the next 16 years if the operation is particularly successful.
And local councils are also set to benefit, with the company anticipating £120 million will be paid in business rates over the next 30 years with the whole UK set to reap a tax benefit of £5 to 6 billion.
But not everyone has welcomed the news – climate change protestors set up outside the Imperial Hotel, in Blackpool, where Mr Miller was speaking to voice their anger at the operations.
A final decision on whether Cuadrilla proceeds is due to be made next summer.