Lancashire

Cuadrilla plans to resume fracking near Blackpool

drilling site Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hydraulic fracturing will be carried out at the Lancashire site

Energy firm Cuadrilla has announced fracking is due to resume at its site in Lancashire.

Fracking began at the Preston New Road site in October but operations were halted on six occasions due to underground tremors.

No fracking has taken place on site since December but Cuadrilla said the process would get under way again by the end of August.

The Little Plumpton site has been the subject of repeated protests.

Anti-fracking protesters previously told the BBC that "fossil fuels had no place in a modern-day energy strategy".

Equipment will be returned to the site with the company hoping to complete the work by November.

Cuadrilla is also planning to collect information about how the ground reacts to the process when fracking resumes.

The firm's chief executive Francis Egan said he was "looking forward to demonstrating over coming months that this remains an entirely safe and hugely exciting opportunity for the UK".

What is fracking?

  • Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique to extract gas and oil from the earth
  • Liquid is pumped underground at high pressure to fracture shale rock and release gas or oil within
  • The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy says shale gas "has the potential to be a new domestic energy source"
  • Governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have said they will oppose fracking until further research is completed into its environmental impact

Cuadrilla hopes to trigger a technical review in order to raise the seismic operating limit.

Currently any tremor measuring 0.5 magnitude or above means fracking must be temporarily stopped while tests are carried out.

Opponents of the fracking process do not believe "shale gas is the solution to the UK's energy challenges".

"We need a 21st Century energy revolution based on efficiency and renewables, not more fossil fuels that will add to climate change," Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said previously.

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