Pro-fracking web publisher bids for three London drilling licences

A commentator who has been promoting shale gas development in the UK said this morning he has applied for licences to frack under parts of London, including Hyde and Green Parks.

Nick Grealy, the publisher of the No Hot Air website, told a shale gas conference in London he was bidding in the 14th round (which closes at 2pm today). His company, London Local Energy, had applied for two licences covering north west and central London and a licence in south London.

Mr Grealy said the north London licence blocks, TQ18 and 28, stretched from Harrow in the west to a few meters from Downing Street, including parts of Hyde Park and Green Park. He predicted that fracking of these licences could be done from one drill site, possibly based at the Park Royal Industrial Estate. He did, however, say exploratory boreholes would be needed throughout the areas to establish the best direction to drill.

“We will be consulting with people”, he told the conference. “We will be asking them what are their fears”. His aim, he said, was “to show we can have shale gas development which will be as boring as anything else going on at Park Royal Industrial Estate.”

“If the number one problem [of fracking] is noise and traffic we go where there is already noise and traffic. It is not going to piss off the neighbours because there are not any.  Truck traffic will be less than current”, he said. “We will not have to worry about the school run and all the things that have made things so difficult.”

The block in south London, TQ26, includes parts of the London boroughs of Merton and Sutton, as well as areas in Surrey. “We will have no above ground impact in Surrey”, he said.

Mr Grealy said his bid could be used as a shale demonstration project for local people, commuters and visitors to London. He said there was a history of drilling in north London. Oil was discovered near Stonebridge Park Station in Willesden in 1910 and gas at a well drilled by D’Arcey in the 1940s.

[Updated at 18.13 on 28/10/14 to correct company title]

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