Analytical Instrumentation

  • Will UK Fracking Continue in 2019?

Will UK Fracking Continue in 2019?

Jan 29 2019 Read 371 Times

Last October, the UK approved the first hydraulic fracturing operations seen since 2011. The moratorium was due to small earthquakes in Lancashire, which quickly ushered in tighter regulations. With fracking now up and running again, it raises the question of what's on the horizon for 2019.

Greater Manchester is at the centre of the debate, with local councils on track to clash with the government in a bid to shutdown sites. Made up of 10 metropolitan boroughs and a population of more than 2.8 million, the area is one of the biggest combined authorities in the country. Following small tremors linked to fracking at the Cuadrilla site at Preston New Road, Greater Manchester is now seeking to introduce a total ban on extracting underground shale gas in the region.

Tremors spark fresh opposition from Greater Manchester

Operations started several months ago and have already garnered major opposition from locals, who have reported feeling small 1.5-magnitude tremors. This is significantly higher than the threshold of 0.5 magnitude, which is the regulatory level that forms are forced to shut down fracking operations. Ultimately, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham maintains a ban on fracking will play a key role in helping the region become carbon neutral by 2038.

“It’s about embracing the future, not the past. Cities like Greater Manchester need to join the group of leading cities on the world stage that are driving fast towards carbon neutrality," says Burnham. “That is a big challenge and it must be embraced wholeheartedly, and it means a full commitment to renewable energy and not half measures, and not clinging on to processes that hark back to a past.”

London promises to veto fracking

Greater Manchester isn't the only area opposing fracking, with several other authorities, including York, Leeds, Hull and Wakefield, also expressing opposition to fracking operations. In the wake of declaring a "climate emergency" London mayor Sadiq Khan has also promised to veto all fracking proposals.

While opposition towards fracking is fierce, whether drilling goes ahead in 2019 will ultimately depend on the integrity of promises from leaders like Burnham and Khan, as well as the determination of pro-fracking companies like Cuadrilla.

From fracking to offshore drilling, the oil and gas industry is reliant on heavy machinery. Spotlighting the importance of diagnostics and preventive maintenance, 'Analysis of In-Service Oils Following ASTM D5185 with ICP-OES/AES' explores how hybrid scanning and simultaneous ICP-OES instruments can be used to measure in-service oil samples in accordance with ASTM method D5185.

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