Up to 50 fracking wells for yorkshire sites

FRACKING could hit North Yorkshire “on an industrial scale” as a leading energy firm says up to 50 wells could end up being used in the region.

Fracking rigs like this one are a common site in America

Third Energy, one of the firms involved in the shale gas rush in North Yorkshire, has admitted there could be many dozens of wells in rural Yorkshire as it continues to look at just how much shale gas is buried beneath the region.

John Dewar, director of operations at Third Energy, told MPs that at the largest estimate, some 50 wells would be needed in drilling locations such as Ryedale.

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Speaking before MPs on the environment select committee, Mr Dewar the company did not know what money it would make from energy in Yorkshire yet as it has “not done detailed cost benefit analysis”.

He added: “The present focus is on testing the well drilled last year

“If this is successful our priority is to drill some more wells to get an idea of the resource but to project further on the total number of wells is very hard.

“We do not foresee the need for more than ten more sites and ten to 20 wells or 20 to 50.”

Committee chair Anne McIntosh said there would be some concern at “an area of tourism and farming coping with approximately 50 wells”.

The Thirsk MP later added: “What we have heard today for the first time is the suggestion of some 50 wells for this rural part of Yorkshire.

“We face fracking on an industrial scale here, and there needs to be a lot more clarity about what that will involve.”

She added that there remained concern over how water would be removed from the sites involved.

The committee also heard from fracking Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan, who said there remained a lot of work to be done to see how much gas could be extracted in the north of England.

“We’re pretty confident the resource is huge,” he told MPs.