Victory for Upton campaigners

This article originally appeared in the The Standard.

In a great victory for anti-fracking campaigners, IGas have abandoned two sites in Chester despite wasting a lot of police time and money clearing the site at Upton. This is a perfect illustration that people power can win and we need to bring the same fight to Barnsley.


FRACKING company IGas has announced that they will not be drilling at any sites which they currently have planning permission for in Chester.

The company, which has permission to drill for coal bed methane at Duttons Lane in Upton and at Salters Lane in Mickle Trafford, has announced on Friday afternoon that they will not drill at either site as they do not meet the company’s criteria for commercial development.

Duttons Lane in particular has been the scene of numerous protests, not least the Upton Community Protection Camp, which was on site for around 20 months in a bid to slow down any development of the site. They were evicted last month by high court bailiffs.

A spokesman for IGas said: “Between September and November 2015 IGas undertook a significant 3D seismic acquisition programme in the North West covering an area of 110km², this included the area around its sites at Duttons Lane and at Salters Lane in Cheshire.

“That data is in the processing and interpretation phase, the full results of which will determine the Company’s future exploration and appraisal work programme in the area.

“Having considered some early results from this recently acquired 3D seismic survey and following a review of its coal bed methane (CBM) exploration work programme in the area, IGas has concluded that the sites at Duttons Lane and Salters Lane do not meet its criteria for commercial CBM development.

“IGas has therefore decided not to progress with these CBM exploration wells under the current planning permissions.

“The land at Duttons Lane will now be returned to its former state including rectifying the damage caused to the area by the protest camp and the protesters.”


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