An open letter from members of Coal Aston & Dronfield Against Fracking to residents of S18.
Part 1 of 4 (intended in part as a response to the contents of Natascha Engel’s letter in the Dronfield Eye/on-line)
With the planning applications for exploratory drilling and a permit for waste disposal at Bramleymoor Lane, Marsh Lane now submitted, it seems opportune to counter a few pieces of misinformation and put forward a bit more reasoning as to why High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing (HVH Fracking) is such a bad idea.
Contrary to recent statement by local candidate, Natascha Engel, HVH Fracking has not been used since 1940 to extract oil and gas. Fracking was developed in 1947 but the High Volume version was first used in 1973. Horizontal wells were used in the late 1980’s. But the higher pressure slickwater version was first used in 1997 – only twenty years ago.
Conventional oil and gas extraction only uses one well to tap a source of fossil fuels in porous rock over a very wide area. The HVH process itself means that several wells must be drilled at each pad to become productive, and that there must be pads drilled consecutively to maintain production – Ineos’s plans for the region involve 30 pads, containing 396 wells, per 38 square miles. Each one of these will use large quantities of water and generate waste and pollution.
HVH Fracking has only happened once in this country – at Preece Hall, and led to two earthquakes, one strong enough to deform the well bore, which halted work on this site and abandonment of the well. Unfortunately, those considering the applications as part of the planning process have to separate the exploratory drilling process from fracking – this should not be the case. It is clear that without this exploratory drilling (and 3D seismic testing also due to take place in the local area imminently) fracking cannot take place. Once the exploratory drilling has been done, landowners will be persuaded to allow access to their lands, “in the national interest”, and INEOS will follow with a slew of applications for drilling their wells.
Parts 2, 3 and 4 follow.