Lancashire businesses show their support for the safe development of shale gas
In a letter to the editor of the Blackpool Gazette yesterday, organised by the North West Energy Task Force, 120 Lancashire businesses expressed their support for the safe development of shale gas.
Later this month, Lancashire County Council will determine two planning applications made by Cuadrilla Resources for shale test drilling on the Fylde Coast.
The letter of support was intended to boost awareness of the business community’s backing for fracking.
Speaking on BBC Radio Lancashire, (approximately 41 minutes in) Lee Petts, Chief Executive of the OESG and a panelist on the North West Energy Task Force, said that shale gas represents a generational opportunity to create a more prosperous society and a stronger Lancashire economy.
Lee said the letter was intended to give supporters of shale a louder voice, and to make sure that policy makers and decision makers at Lancashire County Council hear it.
According to the most recent government statistics, there are over 45,000 SMEs in Lancashire which, together, make up over 99.6% of businesses active in the county.
In a report published by Ernst & Young in April 2014, it was predicted that a mature shale gas industry could one day require a supply chain worth £33 billion and employing over 64,500 people. The OESG believes that onshore oil and gas, including shale gas development, will be more successful and provide more lasting benefits if this supply chain is packed with smaller companies, especially in the areas of the country where extraction takes place.
The OESG wants to help position Lancashire SMEs to take full advantage of the many supply chain roles that will be created should Cuadrilla’s test plans be approved.