Fracking will come to Lancaster if commercial quantities of gas are present at another site in Lancashire, an expert has warned.
Mike Hill, a Chartered Engineer and leading expert on fracking, said that parts of the district will be next on the fracking list if oil and gas company Cuadrilla is able to extract commercial quantities of gas at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, as is currently being predicted.
He claims Lancaster could expect to have approximately 500 fracking wells.
Mr Hill, who has contributed to major reports, parliamentary committees and European conferences on the subject, is presenting a public talk on Tuesday February 6 at Lancaster Town Hall to provide further details.
A Petroleum Exploration Development License (PEDL 263) has already been sold to Warwick Energy.
The PEDL covers much of the south and eastern parts of the Lancaster district, including Cockerham, Galgate, Glasson Dock, Dolphinholme, Quernmore and the Forest of Bowland, and reaches as far north as Lancaster University, Bailrigg and Scotforth.
Because of the potential for drilling up to a mile horizontally under the ground, the license also comes close to the Hala and Bowerham areas of the city.
Mr Hill said: “There are many questions being asked about the process, how are the wells drilled and fracked, what protection we have, what regulations are in force, how will they be enforced and monitored, and what are the consequences for those who live here, and our air and water.
“The meeting will focus on providing facts, not presenting opinion.
“This is a vital issue for our county.”
He said that there is an urgent need for public information, as Cuadrilla has now reached the horizontal drilling stage at the Preston New Road site.
The firm’s CEO has stated that commercial quantities of gas are present.
Exploration licences have also been sold for several other sites in Lancashire, including Roseacre Wood in Halsall near Ormskirk.
There have been ongoing protests in Preston New Road since the work on the site began.
Everyone is welcome to attend the event, which will include a history of fracking so far, and a question and answer session, and will start at 7.30pm.
Entry is free and there will be a collection to cover costs.
The event is being hosted by Transition City Lancaster.
For more information visit the Transition City Lancaster webpage HERE