Cuadrilla abandon Anna’s Road
We have learned that Cuadrilla plan to permanently abandon their site at Anna’s Road. It seems that they would like us to believe that their concern for over-wintering birds is so great that they are prepared to forgo the rewards from the commercial exploitation of the site.
We are, of course, aware that Cuadrilla have experienced various technical issues at their site at Anna’s Road, (as they seem to have done nearly every time they have drilled so far) and that this well was effectively abandoned some time ago.
It is worth noting that the site was very visible and close to local population centres in Lytham and St Annes, and so it could easily have become a focal point for protests of the type we saw taking place in Balcombe.
It comes as no surprise to us that they have decided to cut their losses and discontinue operations there.
Defend Lytham have always maintained that the site is totally inappropriate for a shale gas development given its proximity to housing and the inadequacy of the local infrastructure. We would point out though that with over 100 well pads needed to produce the volumes of gas claimed, every site developed will inevitably be near a populated area. This is just one skirmish in what may well prove to be a long war.
We are not sure how seriously we are expected to take Cuadrilla’s suggestion that they have decided to cease operations to protect over wintering birds. It sounds rather preposterous, given that by drilling past the time specified in the planning permission for the Banks site near Southport in Winter of 2011, they had failed to meet a key condition to safeguard bird life from the adjacent Ribble Estuary Site of Special Scientific Interest. Perhaps they have forgotten that already?
We would of course be interested to know what the real reason for this abandonment is.