Government sets out position on shale gas exploration

Fracking operations have resumed at Preston New Road Lancashire

Fracking operations have resumed at Preston New Road Lancashire

British shale gas exploration firm Cuadrilla said on Thursday it had resumed fracking at its site in Lancashire, after securing all required permits.

Operations to frack the first horizontal well at Preston New Road, the only site in the United Kingdom where the process is taking place, had to be stopped on a number of occasions as minor quakes were recorded - prompting calls from the industry for a review of the rules.

Cuadrilla plans to complete the work at the well by the end of November this year and flow test the well afterwards, with results expected early next year. Articles appear on for a limited time.

Ministers claimed the technology could "support the UK's transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions", despite claims by environmental campaigners that fracking "just isn't part of the future if we are serious about avoiding climate breakdown".

'We have world-leading regulations that ensure shale gas exploration happens in a safe and environmentally responsible way.

Ms Hughes confirmed that hydraulic fracturing would operate in line with the seismic traffic light system regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority.

The Little Plumpton site has been the focus of repeated demonstrations, with protesters saying fracking is harmful.

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The Government was accused last night of ignoring public opinion on fracking, as the controversial process of drilling into the earth to release shale gas resumed across the Pennines.

"This is only after they've realised that fracking can't be done without potentially unsafe effects underground. Instead of backing climate-wrecking fracking the government should ban it and support renewable energy and green jobs instead".

Spokesperson Jamie Peters said: "Fracking just isn't part of the future if we are serious about avoiding climate breakdown".

Cuadrilla has stopped fracking at its first well multiple times over the past year, because under United Kingdom regulations, in case of micro seismic events of 0.50 on the Richter scale or higher, fracking must temporarily be halted and pressure in the well reduced.

Any reading above that limit means that work must stop on its fracking site.

"We now wait for the earth tremors to start up again and wonder what damage they will be causing underground as well as at the surface".

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