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The Independent

‘Mistaken type of shale’ and 280m years too late: Geologists react to fracking transfer



Geologists have reacted to the Government lifting the ban on fracking by saying the UK has the “unsuitable kind of shale” and it was 280 million years too late.

The controversial go-ahead was met with considerations over earthquakes and a rise in greenhouse fuel manufacturing at a time when the UK had made progress on lowering carbon emissions.

Professor Jon Gluyas, of Durham University, mentioned: “Liz Truss hopes to frack us out of the vitality disaster by drilling hundreds of wells to provide shale fuel.

“It received’t work – societal objections apart, we have now the unsuitable type of shale and geology which is much too advanced.

(PA Graphics)

(PA Graphics)

“Certainly, even the founding father of Cuadrilla – of Lancashire fracking fame just a few years in the past – says the identical.”

Fracking was paused in 2019 following worries about earthquakes in west Lancashire and the Authorities mentioned it could be guided by the science earlier than it was allowed to restart.

However Professor Stuart Haszeldine, a geologist at Edinburgh College, mentioned there had been no advances in predicting the seismic influence of fracturing rock at depth since then.

A lot of the UK’s shale fuel had merely leaked away via cracks and faults because it was fashioned, he mentioned.

“We’re massively late by 280 million years,” he mentioned.

Prof Haszeldine mentioned native residents could be confronted with long-term worries over earthquakes damaging their properties.

And companies inspired to put money into costly take a look at drilling additionally risked enormous losses, he mentioned.

“I see this as a really important business danger,” Prof Haszeldine mentioned.

“You possibly can are available in and lose an entire pile of cash.”



The whole lot I’ve realized from the oil trade reveals that there are surprises beneath the floor of the Earth. We do not know all the pieces

Professor Richard Davies, Newcastle College

However Professor Richard Davies, petroleum geologist from Newcastle College, wouldn’t write off the potential for fracking being viable within the UK.

He mentioned: “The whole lot I’ve realized from the oil trade reveals that there are surprises beneath the floor of the Earth.

“We don’t know all the pieces.”

Prof Davies believed companies could look to the Gainsborough space of Lincolnshire quite than Lancashire, ought to fracking begin once more.

He mentioned: “Though the UK is criss-crossed with faults, there’s some proof that Midlands is barely less complicated.”

Prof Gluyas mentioned that whereas a lot focus has been on the north-west of England, two potential websites for fracking improvement have been Somerset, the place Enterprise Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg has his constituency, and shale oil in Norfolk, near the Prime Minister’s constituency.

Prof Gluyas, director of Durham Power Institute, mentioned: “They may identical to to cleared the path.”

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