The energy firm’s exploratory oil drilling is now underway after suffering a number of delays due to protesters blocking the delivery of equipment to the site.
A spokesperson for Cuadrilla said: “We started test drilling at 11.15am, and we will do a 3,000ft vertical well. We will be there for two to three months.”
Fears that fracking will follow
The campaigners, who are part of the ‘Frack Off’ movement, believe that the results of the exploration could lead the energy company to carry out fracking on the site.
More than 30 protesters have been arrested since last week, including a number of high profile campaigners such as Natalie Hynde, daughter of the Kinks singer, Ray Davies, and the Pretenders singer, Chrissie Hynde.
‘No intention of ruining the countryside’
Cuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, recently stated that the company had “no intention of ruining the countryside and won’t ruin the countryside”. He added that the process of fracking was not a danger for the public nor would it contaminate water supplies.
Fracking was again in the headlines this week when former energy minister Lord Howell called for the process to take place in “unloved places” in the North West of England.
Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg also commented on the issue and suggested the Tory party was over-enthusiastic regarding the level of benefits the technique could bring to the UK.