Cuadrilla confirmed this morning it had postponed the start of fracking at its Preston New Road site near Blackpool until Monday.
A company spokesperson said:
“Due to weather conditions yesterday and this morning we will now start pumping on Monday. In high winds we couldn’t use the crane to manoeuvre some equipment into place.”
Today’s start for the first high volume hydraulic fracture in the UK since 2011 had been announced by Cuadrilla yesterday after the lifting of a High Court injunction.
This morning journalists and anti-fracking campaigners gathered outside the site on Preston New Road at Little Plumpton.
Friends of the Earth chief executive, Craig Bennett, who was at the site this morning, said:
“If a bit of Lancashire weather can stop fracking it raises questions about the suitability of this site. The wind may delay fracking but it won’t blow away the protesters.”
Opponents of the process said they would be back on Monday to mark the start of fracking at the site. This will be the first UK frack of a horizontal shale gas well. The most recent high volume fracturing – also carried out by Cuadrilla in Lancashire – was linked to small earthquakes.
Under the terms of the planning permission, fracking can be carried out at Preston New Road from 8am-9pm Monday-Friday and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
Cuadrilla is due to carry out about 45 separate fracks on the first horizontal well. Each frack takes about 90 minutes.
“Fight goes on”
Anti-fracking campaigners said they would continue the fight against fracking at Preston New Road, despite losing a legal challenge at the High Court this week.
Retired businessman, Bob Dennett, had sought an injunction against fracking after arguing that emergency plans for the Preston New Road site were not adequate to protect local people in an incident.
The injunction was not extended and Mr Dennett was refused permission for a judicial review of Lancashire County Council’s emergency planning. But he said yesterday he would seek to challenge two points in the ruling at the Court of Appeal. DrillOrDrop report
The anti-fracking campaigner, Dame Vivienne Westwood, and her son, Joe Corre, are expected to visit people at the site entrance at about 12 noon on Tuesday 16 October 2018.
Reporting from outside Preston New Road this morning was made possible by donations from individual DrillOrDrop readers