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Anti-fracking group fear new drilling plans for town

Anti-fracking group fear new drilling plans for town

by Ollie Cowan (February 2017)

AN ANTI-Fracking group in Formby have warned of potential new plans to commence drilling operations at Formby oilfield.

Campaigners from the Frack Free Formby group say they are aware of plans by Aurora Energy Resources to submit a planning application to Sefton Council later this year in a bid to kickstart drilling explorations for shale gas.

It’s thought the works, if approved, would take place at the former Fomby Oilfield situated just half a mile east of the the Formby bypass.

To discuss the implications with Formby residents, the Frack Free Formby group are holding a public meeting at 7.30 pm on Wednesday March 15 at the Formby Cricket Club on Cricket Path.

A spokesperson for the group said: “We believe that the most likely location for drilling is the site of the old Formby Oilfield.

“As fracking operators can then drill up to two miles underground, drilling at this site could potentially threaten up to 85% of the homes, schools, and business premises in Formby.

“Charts obtained from government agencies show faults in the local sandstone at surface level and underground right across the Formby basin.

“This means that fracking in this area has the potential to cause earth tremors, and cause gas to be released straight into the local atmosphere.

“Frack Free Formby are therefore urging Sefton Council to refuse Aurora’s planning application, and hope to get a substantial number of local groups and residents to object to the proposal.

“If approval is given for an exploratory site, it will almost certainly lead to many more fracking wells being drilled across the moss.

“Ultimately, this could even lead to drilling under Formby’s pinewoods and sand dunes.”

Aurora Energy Resources MD Ian Roche told the Champion: “As previously indicated, following on from the successful completion of our geophysical survey in 2016, Aurora expect to bring forward proposals for future exploration at some point in 2017.

“Prior to any planning application being submitted, we will hold a public information event about the proposed development, the feedback from which will inform our application.  Members of the public will also be able to comment on any planning application during the consultation period prior to it being determined.”

In 2012, Aurora drilled two wells in the vicinity of the abandoned Formby oilfield. 

While the first drilling was deemed unsuccessful, a second well was drilled in the old field area and the main oil bearing sections in the well were fully cored to provide important geological information. 

In addition, samples of the oil were recovered for analysis.

Aurora have previously said that studies as to whether or not it will prove possible to reinstate production from the Formby field are ongoing.




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