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Company may start shale gas fracking operation near London

The first and, up until now, the only company to have conducted shale gas fracking in the UK, Cuadrilla Resources, is set to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas in Balcombe, Sussex this summer, just 31 miles (50 km) south of London, a news report reveals.

Apparently, the company plans to drill a well 3,000 feet (914 meter) deep and a horizontal bore 2,500 feet (762 meter) wide to take samples of underground rock over the next several months, with operations set to cease by September.

Cuadrilla’s plans are not particularly welcome in the Balcombe area, especially since the company was blamed for two earth tremors that occurred in Lancashire, nearby a site where Cuadrilla was fracking (following this incident, a ban on UK fracking has been enforced in 2011, only to be lifter this year). However, company reps did their best in order to convince local residents that there’s no real danger, since no actual fracking is involved, for the time being.

To this time, UK shale gas fracking proved to be of interest mostly for smaller operators, with the larger ones (such as Shell) giving it a rather cold shoulder. Furthermore, there’s already a more or less general consent that shale gas obtained in this way won’t really bring down the UK residents’ gas bills.

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