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Monday, 24 November 2014

United Utilities in talks over fracking on its land

United Utilities – the company that supplies Cumbria’s water – is in talks with a shale-gas explorer to allow fracking on its land in the north west.

The company is understood to be in discussions with Cuadrilla over locations for extracting the gas.

United Utilities owns around 141,000 acres of land across the region.

Fracking involves the hydraulic fracturing of rock with high-pressure liquid – a mixture of water, chemicals and sand – to release the gas.

It is controversial, with opponents warning the process can cause earthquakes, pollute water supplies, blight the countryside and affect house prices.

Only last week the industry group Water UK voiced concerns as Chancellor George Osborne unveiled new planning guidance and tax breaks to encourage shale-gas extraction.

The Government is keen to tap into the energy resource after a recent report from the British Geological Survey said there was twice as much shale gas in the north of England as previously thought.

United Utilities supplied water for the first attempt to frack in the UK in 2011 at a site near Blackpool.

The project was halted after it was blamed for two small tremors.

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