A county government on Tuesday rejected a proposal by energy exploration company Celtique Energie to hunt for shale oil and natural gas in southern England, inflicting a blow to Britain’s nascent fracking industry.
The planning committee of the West Sussex County Council attributed the potential environmental impact and noise pollution concerns as reason why it refused to give the company permission to drill exploratory wells in Wisborough Green over the next three years, reported Reuters.
“There were simply too many highways issues and other issues of concern for any decision other than refusal in this instance,” said the committee chairman, Councilor Heidi Brunsdon, in a statement.
Fracking or hydraulic fracturing is a method in which a highly-pressurized mixture of water, chemicals and sand is pumped deep underground, fracturing the shale rocks to free the trapped oil and natural gas. The technique has the backing of the British government, which says it its critical to ensuring that shale gas is commercially extracted to free the country from dependence on foreign imports.
However, environmentalists and general public have expressed concerns about the environmental impact of the method, oftentimes resulting to protests to make their point known as was the case in 2013 when residents of a West Sussex village held protests against plans by Cuadrilla Resources to drill an appraisal well in the area.
Celtique Energie, which has 16 exploratory drilling licenses for five European countries, couldn’t be immediately reached to comment on the issue. Four of the licenses are for exploring in the southern England’s Central Weald basin, which is thought to contain vast amounts of oil or natural gas. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.
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