UK fracking has 100% failure rate. Geology is wrong with many fault lines unlike US/Australia/Canada.

Chris Hesketh, leader of campaign group Frack Free Dudleston, said the geology of the county of Shropshire is unsuitable even though there is plenty of coal.

He says this is because of the fractures and the fact that there is not an impermeable layer separating the coal from the water table.

Mr Hesketh said that in north Shropshire, around Whitchurch, there are shale deposits that are claimed to be thick enough to be suitable for fracking.

He said however the fact that the shale is extremely deep underground makes it even less likely that it will be economic to extract.

Mr Hesketh’s warning comes after professor John Underhill, chief scientist at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, suggested the UK is “55 million years too late” for the gas extraction technique to work.

He said reservoirs of shale gas had been damaged by seismic activity 55 million years ago, causing some of the deposits to escape.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, involves drilling into the earth then injecting liquid into the rock at high pressure, forcing apart fractures and allowing gas to escape.

Opponents of the technique claim it will harm the environment, but supporters say it is a beneficial source of energy.

In Dudleston, near Ellesmere, the plans to operate an exploratory borehole had been contested for months without a final decision from Shropshire Council, before the applicant, IGas Energy, submitted an appeal.

The case then went to the Planning Inspectorate before it was eventually withdrawn in July when Dart’s licence with the landowner ended.

Mr Hesketh said: “When we were campaigning against CBM (another form of unconventional gas, alongside fracking) in Dudleston, we argued from the outset that the geology was unsuitable.

“There were fundamental prerequisites that were missing and which meant that it would have been damaging to even attempt to start extracting gas.

“Drilling companies in the US are strongly advised to keep away from fault lines, which is relatively easy to achieve with the undisturbed geology of the US.

“The UK geology is very different and has been subjected to far greater tectonic forces. That means that the rock is heavily faulted.

“When the UK’s one and only high volume hydraulic fracturing well was fracked at Preese Hall, great care had been taken to find a gap in the fault lines to drill through.

“Despite all of the careful surveying, the well was drilled through a fault that had been missed and once the well was pressurised, the fault line moved and sheered the well.

“The industry has in effect got a 100 per cent failure rate.”

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