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Fracking protesters attempt to block drills in Salford

Anti-fracking protesters in the north-west have tried to block the arrival of drills in Barton Moss in Greater Manchester

Frack Free Greater Manchester members ave been camping near the site

Frack Free Greater Manchester members have been camping near the site

Energy firm IGas was due to bring its large drills to the site on Tuesday, but the roads were blocked by anti-fracking protesters, who had to be cleared away by police in order to make sure the drills could reach their destination.

One 41-year old man was arrested at the site for blocking the road and obstructing police.

Protesters ‘backed by residents’ 

Since Barton Moss was first identified as being one of the major sites for the potential extraction of shale gas through fracking, protesters have been living there, and many have said they have the support of the local community.

Frack Free Greater Manchester members have been living in tents at the location. They say that the local community is against the extraction of shale gas at the site and have given their backing to protests.

IGas ‘no plans for fracking yet’

Despite the widespread opposition to the arrival of drills, the company that owns them has said it has no plans yet to actually drill for shale gas.

IGas said earlier this year that there could be some 170 million cubic feet in the area it is licensed to explore in the north of England, and the site at Barton Moss will be the first for this testing.

It plans exploratory drilling in the area, that will last 12 weeks, as it tries to find out what sort of gas could be found there.

Chief Operating Officer John Blaymires told the BBC: “We are looking for methane in the coal bed, but are then going into the limestone to look for shale gas.”

The attitude to fracking had been thought to be changing in recent times, with one leading environmental group, Campaign to Protect Rural England, saying last week that it was the ‘least worst option’, adding that it was open to discussions over fracking in the nation.

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