Fracking is due begin today at a site in Lancashire

Mae Love
October 18, 2018

Protesters have gathered near a shale gas exploration site in northwestern England, as fracking began in the United Kingdom for the first time since 2011.

"We won't actually be starting the hydraulic fracturing pumps today due to a brief delay with the weather conditions yesterday and this morning, so we'll therefore be starting on Monday", said a Cuadrilla spokesman. It is definitely not over, it has just got serious.

A fracking protester sits outside energy firm Cuadrilla's site in Preston New Road, Little Plumpton, in Lancashire, England, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018.

She said the there was a mood of disappointment among protesters.

Cuadrilla estimates it will take around three months for it to complete both wells, with initial results from flow rate tests expected in the New Year.

"There is so much more if this goes then everywhere is up for grabs, basically about the only place that won't be being drilled is under the Houses of Parliament", she added. "It's such a risky industry and it shouldn't be here".

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A local resident wanted the fracking suspended to allow for a judicial review of the local council's safety procedures, but a High Court judge dismissed the case on Friday.

"It is morally bankrupt to be heralding the start of a whole new fossil fuel industry", Craig Bennett, chief executive of environmental group Friends of the Earth said in a statement.

"We're now commencing the final operational phase to evaluate the commercial potential for a new source of indigenous natural gas in Lancashire", said Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan.

Locals and environmentalists argue that fracking damages tourism, contaminates water supplies, hurts wildlife, causes earthquakes and contributes to global climate change.

"If commercially recoverable, this will displace costly imported gas with lower emissions, significant economic benefit and better security of energy supply for the United Kingdom".

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