1st March 2014
March sees two major events in the fracking debate. They bring together some of the biggest names in the industry and, potentially, the largest gathering of the anti-fracking community.
The first event, Shale UK, is a two-day conference of representatives of the shale gas industry at the four-star Millennium Gloucester Hotel, London, starting on March 4th. It will focus on the geoscience of shale gas exploration, production and environmental management. Speakers include the former chairman of Shell, Lord Ron Oxburgh of Liverpool, Duarte Figueira, head of the government’s Office of Unconventional Gas and Oil and Huw Clarke, exploration geologist with Cuadrilla. As well as Cuadrilla, other participating shale exploration companies include Dart Energy, Celtique Energy and Centrica. The meeting is organised by The Geological Society, which says it wishes to promote understanding of the science of fracking.
The second event, on Sunday March 9th, is a march through Manchester, being billed as “the largest mobilisation against fracking yet seen in this country”. It is organised by Frack Free Greater Manchester and will start at Piccadilly Gardens at midday. Martin Porter, of FFGM, described fracking as the “last stand of the fossil fuel dinosaurs”. He said “France and Bulgaria have already said no. It is unnecessary, unwanted and unsafe and we call on the people of Britain to come to Manchester to say that we don’t want it here.”