Third Energy’s application to hydraulically fracture an existing gas well at Kirby Misperton in north Yorkshire looks set to be given the go-ahead according to Nina Chestney at Reuters:
“[A] report by the head of planning at North Yorkshire County Council was prepared ahead of a meeting of councillors due to be held on May 20 to decide on the application. The report said objections to Third Energy’s plan included those related to potential adverse impacts on surface and groundwater resources, nature, landscape, air quality and ground vibration. However, the report said it was ‘satisfied’ that measures to mitigate effects on the natural environment, water, traffic and highways were ‘both appropriate and proportionate’.”
The company is likely to face protests from environmental groups and local residents concerned about the impact of fracking. However, if it gets the go ahead, it will be closely followed by both opponents and proponents of fracking as the results could determine the whole future of fracking in the UK. This is because the Kirby Misperton well is in the heart of the Bowland shale formation – Britain’s biggest deposit. If – as some geologists believe –shale gas cannot be profitably extracted from an established well in the Bowland formation, this could spell the end of onshore fracking in the UK.