Local US and UK rulings prohibit shale oil drilling and exploration

Local rulings in the UK and US will prohibit hydraulic fracturing for shale gas. The New York state department of environmental conservation has officially ratified the state’s existing fracking moratorium, based on arguments of the potential health effects.

In the UK, Lancashire county council has blocked exploration company Cuadrilla’s application to drill and fracture eight exploratory wells at twosites between Preston and Blackpool. The decision overrules a recommendation from the council’s own planning officers to approve the plans at one of the sites (the other was declined on grounds of increased traffic).

New York is the only US state to have banned fracking, which is firmly established in other parts of the country. The cheap feedstocks and energy it provides are fuelling a resurgence in the US energy and chemicals manufacturing industries. However, the UK is taking a more cautious approach: while the government supports fracking in principle, exploratory efforts have been held back by local authorities and public protest.