Greenpeace moves to stop hydraulic fracturing in UK

10/14/2013

Greenpeace moves to stop hydraulic fracturing in UK

BY NIDAA BAKHSH

LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Environmental group Greenpeace has started a legal challenge to shale gas exploration in the UK, encouraging landowners to use trespass laws to block drilling.

Greenpeace said drilling horizontally under peoples land is illegal without the owner’s permission and property holders can block drilling by explicitly declaring their opposition.

“If someone drills under your home without permission it is a trespass,” John Sauven, the group’s executive director, said in a statement. “This case is about people explicitly declaring they do not give that permission. This will make it extremely difficult for companies to move ahead with any horizontal drilling plans.”

Greenpeace is opposed to drilling techniques that started an oil and gas production boom in the U.S., claiming they risk polluting water supplies. Exploiting shale reserves relies on a combination of drilling horizontal wells and hydraulic fracturing, the process of using a pressurized mix of water, sand and chemicals to force fuel out of rocks.

The UK said in June that the Bowland basin, which stretches from the east to the northwest, may hold as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas. An extraction rate of 10 percent, typical in U.S. fields, will meet the country’s demand for almost 50 years. The government has encouraged explorers through lower tax rates as it tries to cut reliance on imports as reserves decline in the North Sea.

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