Roadshow van plan to answer shale questions

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG

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Fylde folk will have the chance to quiz the group set up to represent the shale gas industry and find out more about the controversial process.

The representative body for the UK Onshore Oil and Gas industry (UKOOG) has launched a new ‘Let’s Talk About Shale’ road show initiative to encourage people to ask questions about natural gas from shale.

Ken Cronin, chief executive of UKOOG said: “There are a lot of people out there who don’t know what natural gas from shale is and have questions about how it’s extracted.

“‘Let’s Talk About Shale offers the public an opportunity to get to know the facts, rather than being forced into listening to what others think they should hear.”

Opponents of the controversial process of drilling deep underground and extracting shale gas with the use of high pressured water and chemicals say it will damage the countryside and pollute the water supply, among other environmental and economic concerns.

Cuadrilla will find out if its applications to drill two test wells win approval when they are put before Lancashire County Council in November.

The consultation for the Little Plumpton site has already expired, but people wishing to make representations to the county council about the site at Roseacre Wood have until September 19 to do so.

UKOOG’s approach is being piloted in Blackpool and Preston, with a view to launching it nationally next year. Dates for the events are yet to be set.

The aim of the initiative will be to collate questions and have them answered by third party experts. In addition, promotional events will take place in town centres.

Local clubs and community groups are also being offered the chance to discuss the subject and ask questions of local speakers.

The activities include a special digi-van – a high-tech vehicle equipped with flat-screen TVs.

Promotional staff with tablet computers, will also visit Blackpool and Preston, giving the public a chance to ask questions about the process.

There will be presentations to local groups and organisations given by geologists, academics and representatives of the business community.

A website – www.talkaboutshale.com – has been set up for the public to ask their questions and to receive answers.

Thousands of postcards will also be distributed so the public can submit questions by Freepost.