Anti-fracking protesters have said they are heading to Greater Manchester after withdrawing from their controversial camp in West Sussex.
Energy company IGas is due to start exploratory drilling on land in Irlamlater this month. Work at the site, which is off Barton Moss Road and close to the M62 motorway and Barton aerodrome, is set to last 12 weeks. But protesters who have been camped outside an exploratory oil drilling plant in West Sussex have said they are heading north to campaign against the work in Irlam.
Daniel White, 19, of the Balcombe Protection Camp, said: “We are discussing where our next site will be – Manchester, Lancashire – we are going all over the place. “We will be doing this worldwide to stop fracking. This is something that needs to stop. I think we have had a huge impact. “It’s been a good two months since we’ve been here. For us, we have got everybody out there listening, and the more people who are aware the better. People need to wake up.”
Another campaigner, Pam Lucas, 65, from London, said: “We have to clear up and move to the next site that we feel needs protecting. “We are all passionate about keeping the Earth as it is because it’s only on loan to us.”
The protesters had tents, banners and makeshift structures at the Balcombe site for two months. More than 100 people were arrested during the protests. When work starts in Irlam a mobile drill will be used by the company to bore down to a depth of around 10,000ft.
Samples of any gas found will be brought back to the surface via the well for testing. IGas said it hoped to identify ‘resource potential’, including coal bed methane, in the rock formations below. A bore hole 20-inches wide will be used and the mobile drill will be removed when the work is complete. No exact start date has been revealed.
The controversial fracking process, or hydraulic fracturing, is where water is pumped into underground rock to force out shale gas. The process was suspended in the UK in 2011 after claims it caused minor earthquake tremors, but it was later allowed to continue by the government. A campaign group called Say No To Fracking on Barton Moss has been launched to fight the £15m project.
Source: Manchester Evening News