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Fracking: UK’s simplest shale gas wells to be sealed and abandoned

The UK’s only shale gas wells are to be abandoned after the enterprise regulator ordered them to be sealed.

The Lancashire wells have no longer been used due to the fact 2019 after take a look at drilling become suspended because of earth tremors and the government halted shale gas extraction in England.

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) ordered that they now be plugged with concrete.

The website’s proprietors, strength firm Cuadrilla, stated the decision become “ridiculous” amid rising gas costs.

The wells at Preston New Road were the primary to frack horizontally onshore in the UK – a method which releases gas from shale rock.

The technique has been arguable and take a look at drilling has been hit by many delays and protests, consisting of one which lasted simply short of one hundred hours.

After an earthquake with a significance of two.9 become recorded close to to the web site in August 2019, it become concluded through the OGA it changed into now not possible to expect the size of tremors resulting from the exercise.

The following November, the government halted fracking and exploration with on the spot impact.

Cuadrilla’s chief govt Francis Egan stated the OGA order “had now not been well concept through” amid an “strength crisis”.

“It will be notably expensive and tough to rectify this error,” he said.

“What is extra ridiculous is that leaving our own shale fuel inside the ground will make reducing worldwide emissions even more difficult.

“Shale gasoline from the North of England has the ability to satisfy the United Kingdom’s power wishes for decades to come, but ministers have selected now, at the height of an energy crisis, to take us thus far.”

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However, the Prime Minister’s authentic spokesman stated shale gas from fracking become “not a quick-term fix” and turned into “nonetheless unproven as a resource in the UK”.

He stated the development of home power sources “have to be secure and motive minimal disruption and harm to those living and operating nearby”.

“We ended support for fracking based totally on clinical proof so any in addition improvement would need to undergo the essential strategies,” he stated.

He added that even if the moratorium “have been lifted day after today, there’s unlikely to be sufficient portions of gasoline to be had to cope with the excessive prices affecting all of Europe and would haven’t any impact on costs within the short term”.

Prof Richard Davies, of Newcastle University, stated fracking inside the UK was “only ever going to be a small contributor to our use of fuel”.

He said there has been a “loss of acceptance from people and a supply chain that changed into massive enough to carry fees down”.

Susan Holliday, who lives near the web site, instructed BBC North West Tonight the selection to plug the wells was a “leap forward”, however “it became now not the quit” of fracking inside the region.

“The web page has to be decommissioned and there’s no news on that but,” she introduced.

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