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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2018-13-01

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Could we see Fracking next to Formby and Crosby?

THE controversial process of drilling down into the Earth and then using high pressure mixture of water, sand and chemicals to crack open cracks within rock layers and release the trapped oil or gas was invented in the late 1940's. The technique, known as hydraulic fracturing or just fracking, could make gas prices cheaper in the UK. Currently the UK import approximately ½ of our required gas from overseas and by 2030, it has been forecast to increase by some 80%. Critics on the other hand argue this type of extraction will cause untold environmental damage.

This debate around shale gas has moved even closer than the 1 surrounding Cuadrilla's Fracking near Preston and Blackpool. This time a Scottish firm, Aurora Energy Resources hopes to drill 2 exploratory wells, within the Altcar Moss area, that falls just within West Lancashire, just over the boarder of Sefton. We are told that letters have been sent to residents within Great Altcar, who are in West Lancashire, by the company, but we have not heard of any in Formby or Freshfield, who are in Sefton, getting any letters. We have sent an email asking Aurora Energy Resources why this has not happened. We are told though that the nearest properties to the drill site are 850m (0.5 miles) away.

Many do not realise that Formby did once have petroleum extraction taking place from the late 1930's to the late 1960's. A 'nodding donkey' oil pump operated a mile or 2 East of Formby, on Downholland Moss Lane.  A location close to where Aurora Energy Resources wants to place its test wells.

More information about the plan by Aurora Energy Resources can be found on the firm's website along with their:- "History of oil and gas exploration in NW England."

Will the legendary former Southport tourism chief, the late Phil King BEM, words prove to be correct? Back in 2005 he reportedly told the media:- "I've got my 10 gallon hat ready, just in case Formby becomes the new Dallas." Will this be the case for the area or will it spell the end to one of the most environmentally fragile areas of the North West Coastline?

Please let us know your views and thoughts on this issue, vie emailing us to:- or adding your comment to our Formby Reporter Facebook Page...

Interestingly, back in October 2017, the Scottish Government said that it:- "will not support the development of Unconventional Oil and Gas in Scotland," thus putting an "effective ban" on fracking North of the border.


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