Fracking not the answer to energy supply problems, says Fylde MP as work starts on capping wells

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has welcomed the process of filling in and capping the area’s fracking wells and insists alternative means are the answer to solving the energy supply problem.

By Tony Durkin
Monday, 14th March 2022, 12:37 pm
Updated Monday, 14th March 2022, 4:02 pm

Energy company Cuadrilla began work last week to seal the controversial well at Preston New Road, Westby and to remove drilling equipment and other infrastructure from the site.

It is expected to take five weeks to complete the operation, which will involve heavy equipment being moved onto the site.

Mr Menzies said: “The local geology here in Fylde simply does not support fracking.

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The fracking wells at Preston New Road, Westby are being filled

“Cuadrilla had the opportunity to prove drilling could be carried out safely and could not make the case.

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“There can be no change of heart, this work must go ahead as planned.

“The Oil and Gas Authority has now made clear the well must be filled and capped.

“This brings to an end Cuadrilla’s work at Preston New Road and I look forward to seeing the work completed.”

Mr Menzies has made clear vital safety regulations must remain in place, amid calls to lift a moratorium on fracking in England and Wales.

He said: “The industry agreed to the traffic light system, which proved its worth at Preston New Road.

“It is for the industry to demonstrate exploration and extraction can take place within the limits set.

“I recognise the difficult position we are in with regard to energy supplies and that prices are rising quickly for households across Fylde.

“Fracking will not solve that problem

“My focus remains on supporting Fylde’s nuclear industry, which can fuel clean, affordable, secure energy for the United Kingdom.

“The Government is investing in the UKs nuclear future which will support jobs in Fylde and help tackle the energy crisis.

“Alongside a renewed focus on North Sea oil and gas and huge efforts to deliver renewables, we have the solutions and the technology right now to deliver long-term energy security for the United Kingdom.”

Work on the site between Blackpool and Kirkham halted in 2019 after a series of tremors. The Government issued a moratorium on UK fracking in November that year.

A letter from Cuadrilla as the work began said: “This work follows-on from formal notification issued by the Oil and Gas Authority in relation to the plugging and abandoning of both wells.”