Fracking is nothing new

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I refer to Revd. Peter Doodes’ letter regarding fracking (February 14) and would make the following observations. Whilst he states that Wytch Farm oil field has not been fracked, in fact, the current owners, the French oil company Perenco, are carrying out fracking.

Perenco refused to give details of fracking but admitted that hydraulic fracturing happened at the oilfield after it was highlighted in a Royal Society report. “Well stimulation techniques, and produced water and seawater injection have been used at Wytch Farm for many years,” said a spokesman.

Peter Style, Professor in Applied and Environmental Geophysics at Keele University, said that fracking first happened in the UK in Lincolnshire in 1988. “It is not a new technology, we have had 200 wells fracked in England and no one has even noticed”. Onshore hydraulic fracturing operations in the UK included a job in Chesire in 1992, and a fracking job in West Sussex in 1991. In addition, a site in Elswick, Lancashire was fracked in 1993 and continues to produce gas.

Furthermore, more than 300 fracks have been carried out in Germany since the 1970s. Studies into shale gas and hydraulic fracturing by the Royal Society, the British Geological Society, the British Geological Survey, and Durham University have shown that shale gas development is safe, that risks can be managed and the UK Government has given the green light to shale gas exploration based on the science behind shale gas development. With regard to water contamination the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) state that there is no documented case of hydraulic fracturing contaminating groundwater to date.

I don’t see the relevance of banning fracking in France with fracking in the UK. The Germans are shutting down nuclear power stations, so should we be cancelling the UK nuclear programme? All this data is in the public domain and as a professional chartered engineer I would only publish data reported by respectable organizations and which is independent, factual and scientific. That is my last word on this subject.

Jeremy Taylor, Mill Corner, Northiam.