Apparently most of Northern England sits under a huge reservior (1,300 trillion cubic feet at last estimate by Brirish Geo Service) of naturally occuring Shale gas, Cumbria has one but its not easy to get at, as it is locked away deep in the rockbed.
Extraction of this gas, involves an exercise known as ‘fracking’. What they do is drill down into the bedrock to create boreholes. They then pump water, sand and chemicals under high pressure into these channels to cause the bedrock to crack and release the gas.
Its not without its risks and controversy though – as some point out, it causes earthquakes, water contamination and adds to climate change and the local green lobby are wholly against any attempts to exploit the Solway Coastal regions.
The problem with it seems to be that there is alot of money to be made from unlocking this energy resource but at what cost to the environment? Well the truth is – no one really knows.
The U.S. have been fracking for over 60 years and recent tests from water sources in Pennsylvania found potentially health threatening levels of methane, ethane and propane – within a kilometre of fracking sites.
A recent UK test drilling near Blackpool is said to have caused a mini-earthquake which measured 2.3 on the richter scale.