No fracking plans yet

By Ross Findon

Sunday, January 19, 2014


AN oil exploration company with the largest licence to search for shale gas on the Isle of Wight has said it is considering its options.

Norwest, which, in a joint venture with Wessex Exploration Plc, holds a licence to search for oil, gas and shale gas across large parts of the Island, announced last year it was considering fracking on the Island.

This week the government announced plans to give local authorities 100 per cent of the business rates from fracking projects in their areas.

Supporters claimed this would bring many benefits to communities. However, opponents raised fears cash-strapped councils would put financial concerns before the environment.

Regarding its licences to explore the Island and a site in Christchurch, Norwest CEO Peter Manachen said: "These southern England licence areas still have significant potential and the joint venture is investigating ways of gaining more time to evaluate them at minimal cost."

He said the company’s main focus however, was the development of shale gas interests in Western Australia, where it has carried out fracking.

Isle of Wight Council cabinet member for planning Cllr Jonathan Bacon said there were no planning applications for fracking.

He added: "Given the potential environmental impacts of fracking and the sensitivity of much of the Island’s countryside and coastline, the council would have to carefully consider such impacts.

"The announcement in relation to business rates makes no difference to the approach the council would take. Given the potential impacts of fracking, we would still need to carefully consider each application individually on a fair and transparent basis. The news will not affect that."



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Displaying the last 10 of 30 comments - Show All Comments

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by Darryl Fry

20th January 2014, at 23:40:12

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by Darryl Fry

20th January 2014, at 23:39:28

We have gas fracking in our prime agricultural land here too. Once established, the jobs vanish, the wells need minimum supervision other than computerized flow reports. It's up to council to check water quality and to date that has been very hard to do, until it rises to the surface - often 100's of miles away. The workers were mainly fly-in-fly-out migrants from Asia who, under a law called '457 Visas' were permitted to work for half the minimum wage. But that issue is minor compared to what it did to the water aquifer. Burning wells, dead cattle, failed crops etc. Many Vectisians will be aware that their aquifer comes under the English channel from Europe. Once the sulfur, cyanide, explosive materials and other toxins spread through the aquifer, you will never get rid of it.

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by Mat Thomas

20th January 2014, at 19:59:45

Will the posh THWART campaigners throw this one out too if they have stopped the windmills in the hills what about the substitute for holes in the valleys?

Mind you if there is a few quid in the pocket who cares if it goes on between Freshwater and Chale?

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by Don Prescott

20th January 2014, at 15:28:36

I have to agree with JMcA on this.

Back in the day, there were huge protests about N.Sea oil and gas.
Fortunately for me, I made avery good living out of it because it was a dangerous occupation and though a few of my friends lost their lives on 2 of the N.Sea rigs - je regret rein!

Unfortunately for the country, the politicos wasted the zillions in revenue, unlike most of my friends in Norway, who are now sitting very comfortably, whilst we are, as JMcA says, waiting for the lights to go out.

Whilst being a serious objector to useless wind farms (and they ARE useless), our only options are shale gas and nuclear.

Anyone who believes different is really dreaming.

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by David Blackford

20th January 2014, at 15:10:11

Ah yes, I remember the smell of the gasworks in Portslade - Our school once took us on a visit to see them emptying out the coke from the gas ovens. I also remember an experiment we did at school using a tin with a hole in the bottom. better stop there - health and safety! - which didn't exist in those good old days

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by Mat Thomas

20th January 2014, at 14:39:11

The easiest is the age old Coal Gas technology, which is safer and carbon capture and clean coal technology could be utilised. There is still tons of it in opencast and underground.

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by James McAdder

20th January 2014, at 13:25:54

Block shale gas by all means,

But don't complain if some Eastern European disagreement results in the lights going out.

The UK relies too much on foreign gas. We need our own (shale) or need to find some other sources (nuclear or renewables).

The trouble is each of these has its own colloction of nimbys/protestors who will do all they can to block them.

The result will be the UK in energy deficit with demand outstripping the ability to supply.

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by Mat Thomas

20th January 2014, at 13:03:38

Fracking is another big idea for elite interests like HS2 in the Tory closed shop.

It is being used for election purposes to "solve" growth and a glorious economic programme for Osborne and co.

The real pro-social agenda for house building, schools and hospitals, a proper energy and transport policy, including proper manufacturing are the alternatives but is being disregarded by the whole Westminster cartel.

Block it and make them think again!

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by James McAdder

20th January 2014, at 12:52:34

Just beware of the fracking Cylons, that's all.......

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by Mat Thomas

20th January 2014, at 01:37:18

Political economy would suggest that intensification of labour; new production of the means of production would be the source of adding value, which in turn monopolies claim against for profit. A new area of production would not ensure high wages in an area of unorganised labour. On the contrary the traditional and other areas of production would be squeezed out of the market either leading to redundancy, transfer of labour or recruitment of new labour. So the creation of jobs is a sop.

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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