Reimposing fracking moratorium “beggars belief”, says Cuadrilla boss

The Business Secretary had previously stated that the moratorium would be maintained until evidence was provided regarding the safety of shale gas exploration

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The Chief Executive of the UK’s first fracking company has said it beggars belief that the government reinstated the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

Cuadrilla Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan said the government “is turning its back on an industry that has the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs across the North of England”.

Francis Egan added: “In the middle of an energy and cost of living crisis, when the UK and Europe is increasingly reliant on  shale gas shipped across the Atlantic and liquified gas from Qatar to keep the lights on, it beggars belief that our government should reintroduce a moratorium on exploring for and producing our own shale gas.”

In March, Mr Egan called on the government to halt the sealing of wells to reduce the UK’s reliance on Russian gas.

The company was working towards plugging and abandoning two shale gas wells in Lancashire after earth tremors halted the extraction of shale gas in England.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that the government will stick to the Tory manifesto regarding the fracking ban, Business Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The government is confirming today that we will again take a presumption against issuing any further hydraulic fracturing consents.

“This position, an effective moratorium, will be maintained until compelling new evidence is provided which addresses the concerns around the prediction and management of induced seismicity. This is in line with the commitment made in the 2019 Conservative Manifesto.

“While future applications for hydraulic fracturing consent will be considered on their own merits by the Secretary of State, in accordance with the law, shale gas developers should take the government’s position into account when considering new developments.”

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