Posted by: westlancashirerecord | March 16, 2017

Frack Free Formby Forward Planning

Frack Free Formby held a Public Meeting at Formby Cricket Club last night and the question “Are we going to be FRACKED” was discussed as over 100 residents  attended the meeting that ran “off the plan” due to very lively residents’ participation by way of contributions, questions and thought provoking discussions on the subject of fracking.

A presentation was made on the basic methodology of fracking and, after hearing what Aurora’s stated plans are for 2017, forward planning was clearly high on the agenda for the group’s immediate future. Questions were raised about how access to land was acquired for the seismic survey and further discussion revolved around possible sites for exploratory drilling given the location of the Formby Oilfield.

Residents were updated on what is happening at Preston New Road on the Fylde and the legal challenges that are currently in progress in Manchester. The photos taken by a drone this week  were shown so residents could see the enormity of the well pad site  and the technical view, even expressed in court yesterday, is that the site was “dressed up as exploration but with production in disguise”.

The meeting overran on time, but the discussions were very well informed and residents took away the message that we can no longer view what is happening on the Fylde as if it is something that is just happening elsewhere!

It’s reported that if the industry wins the judicial review this week and fracking goes ahead then more than 100 well pads of this size will be created in the countryside from Blackpool to Preston and beyond. An oil and gas engineer Mike Hill told press that many people did not realise how big fracking pads were. He said “I did predict such sized pads but Cuadrilla did their level best to discredit me with the media. One of the slides I showed was a 15 well” 2.5Ha” pad in British Columbia and even Friends of the Earth and the local MP told me I was scaremongering! The Preston New Road site is way bigger than a four well site. A 40 well site maybe. A 60 well site most likely. Of course, initially they will drill and frack 4 wells. They will get recoverability figures and then decide what to do next. Apply for 10 more, 20 more. Sell on to a major.

Preston New Road Action Group’s Alan Tootill told press “In theory, a well pad of two hectares or so has the capability of drilling maybe 10 vertical wells and if Cuadrilla are to be believed, three or four horizontal wells could be drilled off each vertical. We do not believe Cuadrilla have the competence or experience to do this. This would be world ground-breaking, and Cuadrilla have so far not shown themselves to be capable of successfully drilling one well in Lancashire. Their drilling history is one of technical mistakes and incompetence.”

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