Fracking Island gas bonanza?

By Ross Findon

Sunday, December 30, 2012


FRACKING — which has sparked worldwide controversy — could happen on the Island, according to an oil company with a licence to search for shale gas here.

An Australian oil company is examining the results of seismology tests to decide if it pursues the process on the IW.

The news came a week after the government ended its ban on the drilling process, in which a chemical solution is pumped underground at high pressure to cause cracks in rocks and release gas.

Supporters say it could help to make the UK more energy self-sufficient and reduce energy price fluctuations.

Opponents say the process has led to polluted water, dangerous emissions and earth tremors.

A study by the British Geological Survey found the entire Island could be sitting on significant reserves.

Oil and gas exploration licences have been awarded for much of the south of the Island, from The Needles to Sandown.

The licences, held by several companies, including Norwest, Wessex Exploration and Northern Petroleum, allow for oil exploration as well as shale gas drilling by fracking.

Northern Petroleum has ruled out fracking at this stage, but Norwest, which started fracking in Western Australia this year, is evaluating seismology.

David Hedderwick, of Norwest, said environmental concerns would be taken into account before drilling started and regulations would prevent the problems that had occurred in the USA.

Island-based geologist Dr Bruce Denness said IW reserves would be attractive to drilling companies because the geologoy should make the gas easy to extract.

He did not believe the process was a significant risk to land stability on the Island, even in areas prone to landslip, such as the Undercliff.

But David Green, chief executive of Ecoisland Community Interest Company, said there had been concerns water used in fracking contained chemicals that could pollute water sources.



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Displaying the last 10 of 66 comments - Show All Comments

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by Simon Gilroy

4th January 2013, at 20:46:38

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Confirms High Methane Leakage Rate Up To 9% From Gas Fields, Gutting Climate Benefit.

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by neil jacks

4th January 2013, at 09:11:54

I sincerely hope that some of our thread contributers read these articles and then appologise.

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by Darryl Fry

4th January 2013, at 04:34:36

A couple of interesting articles to read. and

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by Simon Gilroy

3rd January 2013, at 21:59:57

I thought this was an interesting article on a fracking incident in Louisiana

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by neil jacks

3rd January 2013, at 08:45:46

I would say experience counts for everything if we read your contribution and that of Darryl Fry and simon Gilroy, i would they don't have the technology right yet and the poor people who have suffered from it are unfortunately part of the experiment.

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by Paul Wainwright

3rd January 2013, at 03:34:38

Well said Neil Jacks!! I have no geological qualifications either but have seen the damage fracking causes in my many travels around the world, especially in the US and Australia. But I suppose worldly experience counts for nothing to some of those so called "educated" university types many of whom are just a bunch of tossers.

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by geoffrey clynch

2nd January 2013, at 11:48:01

Neil Jacks, EXACTLY, Free Speech for the ordinary people is always the first to be hit in a DICTATORSHIP, keep having your say and everyone else who values FREE SPEECH

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by neil jacks

2nd January 2013, at 11:29:19

all i was trying to say was that most of us are ordinary folk and we should be allowed our opinions without being made to feel inferior.

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by geoffrey clynch

2nd January 2013, at 11:01:26

Neil Jacks ,Well said Again! Like everywhere else we find here the people who are FOR this kind of thing, PRETEND to be Educated, BRAINWASHED more like, with the Common Purpose, marxist treason, you will usually find those who are for these things, like Global Warming, are usually people who will also gain financially, especially those who shout the longest in support of things that the majority KNOW to be wrong

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by neil jacks

2nd January 2013, at 10:06:11

stephen elliott, and what about those, like you which are neither? You claim to be educated yet you and others have yet to allay the fears of the many who simply do not want their way of life threatening. We have had contributions from people here, who have actually witnessed the effects of fracking. Is that not education. Too many on this thread have discouraged worthwile contributers by trying to take control with an air of superiority.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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