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Fracking: Separating the facts from fiction and the friction

August 7, 2013

drillingFracking. Definitely a hot topic we’ve all heard something about.

It’s the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside.

Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure which allows the gas to flow out to the head of the well. Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique designed to recover gas and oil from shale rock. But how does it work and why is it controversial?

So that’s the dictionary definition and drilling companies suggest trillions of cubic feet of shale gas may be recoverable from underneath parts of northern England, through the process.

I’ve received three recent enquiries relating to the fracking in the area.

I’ve done a little research which you may wish to digest and share.

Firstly, Julie Castree-Denton – team leader of wastle planning policy and development control at Staffordshire County Council – confirms all phases of gas exploration (including fracking) require planning permission from them as the minerals planning authority.

All district council within Staffordshire will be consulted on any application made to the county authority.

I’ve added two links which I hope will be useful to my blog readers. The first provides useful planning practice guidance for onshore oil and gas.

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/224238/Planning_practice_guidance_for_onshore_oil_and_gas.pdf

The second link adds some information on where licences to exploit potential gas have been issued in Staffordshire.

http://gallery.mailchimp.com/d4b5ec31a8752290a96de5275/files/Fracking_guidance_WestMidlands_NorthEastWales.pdf?utm_source=Fracking+MPAs&utm_campaign=9f7cd936da-FrackingEshot_26072013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_050b6bcf28-9f7cd936da-419015177

Any applications would be matters for the county council as Mineral Planning Authority to determine.

There has been a lot of interest in gas exploration in the north of the county. Unfortunately the county council web info isn’t up and running just yet – colleagues are still looking at this.

This information however shows interest in the Staffordshire area and where licences to exploit the potential for shale gas have been issued in Staffordshire.

I hope the above proves useful. It’s important to separate the facts about fracking from fiction and the ensuing friction

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