UK Fracking Update
Jim Ratcliffe, CEO of Ineos, has stated that he thinks fracking could transform Britain’s industrial heartland in the same way it has revived America’s Rust Belt. He went on to say, that work by Ineos indicated that there are ‘significant quantities’ of shale gas in South and North Yorkshire, Lancashire, and across Scotland.
Last week the Ineos Insight dragon-class tanker brought 27,500 cubic meters of gas from the Marcellus shale field in Pennsylvania, to the Grangemouth chemical plant in Scotland. The plant has previously been running at less than full capacity due to dwindling North Sea gas reserves, and increasing prices.
Horizontal fracking has been approved for a site at Preston New Road in Little Plumpton, Lancashire, owned by energy firm Cuadrilla. This is the first time shale rock will be fracked horizontally in the UK, a second site at Roseacre Wood has not yet been approved.
Horizontal fracking is seen as being providing a much higher yield than vertical drilling, as it can reach a much larger area in the shale rock. Cuadrilla plan to drill four wells at the Preston New Road site, and could help to improve the security of the UK’s energy reserves by providing a cheaper alternative to North Sea gas.
A shale exploration license has been granted by Nottinghamshire County Council to IGas after they were able to prove that the drilling can be effectively managed to minimize risk to locals and the environment. Two wells will be drilled at a former Cold War missile launch site near Doncaster, at depths of 3500 and 4350 meters. Fracking was not included in the license, but IGas intend to apply for permission once the exploration project is complete.