After facing several delays and obstacles, the UK’s shale gas industry will finally begin yielding results, and will be a boon to mining contractors who have been hit by the downturn in the mining industry.
Industry experts reckon that 2017 will witness fracking projects finally getting started. The site in Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire will be able to begin within a few weeks as a judge ruled in favour of the project after environmental campaigners and local residents had halted it. Another fracking project located in the North York Moors should begin sometime in the beginning of the year.
Cuadrilla Resources and iGas are also gearing up to start their projects located in northern England. In fact, Cuadrilla Resources had submitted a proposal to drill four wells near Blackpool to extract shale gas. It has received approval for planning, and according to company spokesperson Jacqui Reid, the company should be able to finalise the plans for the project by the end of January 2017.
Fracking came to a standstill in 2011 after there was an earthquake at one of the Cuadrilla sites. The moratorium imposed on fracking lasted until 2012, but environmental campaigners and residents at various sites have been protesting about the possible damage that fracking can cause to the environment.
Reid acknowledged that it has been difficult to convince the people that fracking can be done safely. She also stated that Cuadrilla Resources will be able to demonstrate to the public that shale gas extraction is safe and will not damage the environment.
iGas Chief Executive Steve Bowler anticipates that 2017 will be important for the company as it is looking to drill wells, and this has generated a lot of excitement. He believes that the fracking industry will get the impetus that it needs in the coming year.