Energy companies probe marshes for potential shale gas works
ENERGY companies are eyeing up Ince Marches as a possible location for a controversial fracking site.
The area is being eyed up by firms searching for natural gas trapped in the layer of underground shale.
However, extracting shale gas is controversial as it uses so-called fracking technology which was blamed for causing earth tremors when a drill site was established near Blackpool.
Environmentalists also fear the chemicals pumped into the rock under pressure to release the gas can leak into ground water.
But supporters say the economic benefits could be substantial.
Drilling firm IGas Energy estimates the volume of ‘gas initially in place’ at its Ince Marshes site near Elton and other North West sites could range from 15.1 trillion to 172.3 trillion cubic feet.
Dart Energy Ltd also says well data demonstrates ‘significant potential for shale resource’ at Milton Green and Blacon East.
And Shell found ‘slight oil shows’ in the Blacon East area in 1981 leading former Cheshire West and Chester councillor Arthur Harada to ask ‘is the well now suitable’ given oil price rises.
Wirral Council remains ‘completely opposed’ to fracking.
But Cheshire West and Chester Council leader Mike Jones, in his role as chairman of the Local Government Association’s environment and housing board, took a different approach, arguing local communities should receive a greater share of gas extraction profits.
Cllr Jones said: “We believe that the benefits being offered to local areas need to be more substantial than the 1% of revenue currently being proposed.
“This is something we will now be looking to discuss with government.”