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England set to restart fracturing after a five-year hiatus

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Report summary

North Yorkshire County Council has given the go ahead to UK independent Third Energy to hydraulically fracture the KM 8 well. This landmark planning approval comes five years after the last fracture completion in the UK when Cuadrilla Resources's Preese Hall 1 well near Blackpool was linked to small magnitude seismic events. A moratorium on the technique was lifted in 2012 although its use has been prevented by a number of other regulatory hurdles. Local opposition to the decision has been vocal and well organised and it could go for judicial review which would also lead to delays in the existing well being completed and tested. When the well is eventually fractured Third Energy will be under pressure to perform a textbook completion as this will be the first modern demonstration of the technique to a sceptical British public.

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