MP confirms fracking is unlikely in Crow country

Oliver Heald MP

Oliver Heald MP - Credit: Archant

A member of parliament has confirmed that the prospect of fracking in the county is unlikely.

North East Herts MP, Oliver Heald, said: “I had always understood that the geology of Hertfordshire was wrong for fracking and it is good to have that confirmed by the British Geological Survey.”

Mr Heald has been assured by the Minerals Policy team at Hertfordshire County Council that studies by the British Geological Survey show that the kind of rocks that might be explored for shale gas or oil are not present under the majority of the county and that where they are present, they are likely to be too thin and shallow to be worthwhile.

In August the Comet reported that energy companies could be given the chance to drill deep into the countryside to extract oil and natural gas, prompting fears that ‘fracking’ may blight communities.

Fracking involves fracturing rocks deep underground with water and chemicals to extract oil and natural gas, and has been blamed for earthquakes, explosions and health problems in areas where it has been carried out.

The announcement from Mr Heald comes after the Comet learnt that a request had been made to the Department of Energy and Climate Change for a plot of land - which includes Letchworth GC, Baldock, Stotfold and Ashwell - to be added as an option for gas firms to seek obtaining a drilling licence.

Karen Harmel, speaking on behalf of the North Herts Green Party, said: “We would like a 100% guarantee that it will not be going ahead. It is fantastic to hear that it is unlikely, but it doesn’t make me sleep any better. We still have concerns about the bordering counties, for example, Essex, Cambridgeshire Bedfordshire, which if fracking is carried out could still have an impact on air quality and risks of earth quakes.”