UK’s Cuadrilla fracking site blocked by Greenpeace protestors

03 May 2017 16:58 Source:ICIS News

Greenpeace protestors block entrance to CuadrillaGreenpeace UK protestors block the entrance to Cuadrilla's site in northern England. Source: Jiri Rezac, Greenpeace UK

(adds Cuadrilla's commentary on paragraphs 9-10)

LONDON (ICIS)--Protestors from Greenpeace have blocked the entrance to UK’s Cuadrilla fracking site in the north of England, stopping workers from going into the site, a local police spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Greenpeace said 20 activists early this morning blocked the entrance to Cuadrilla’s site in order to stop works at the site.

“This morning at around 8:00 [London time], they [the activists] locked themselves to heavy, reinforced blocks in front of Cuadrilla's site, blocking the entrance and preventing vehicles from delivering supplies,” said Greenpeace.

“All six of those physically blocking the fracking company could be arrested by the police.”

However, a police spokesperson for the Lancashire police service told ICIS no activist has been arrested. As of 14:00 London time, protests were still ongoing.

The police spokesperson said the number of protestors had shrunk to ten.

“What tends to happen, due to the nature of the process, is that the Police would issue warnings and it can become a lengthy procedure before they are arrested,” it said.

“The picture might have changed in a few hours. It’s possible they might be arrested later on.”

Cuadrilla said on Wednesday afternoon that the protestors had not stopped the normal functioning of operations at the site.

Speaking to ICIS, Cuadrilla's CEO Francis Egan said: "We can advise that the protest today [Wednesday] is having no impact on our site construction activities, which are continuing uninterrupted."

In July 2015, the Lancashire County Council, where Cuadrilla’s site is located, voted against hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to explore and produce shale gas in the area.

However, the national government in October last year overturned the local Council’s decision, granting Cuadrilla a permit to go ahead with the project near the city Blackpool.

The move came after the government itself approved regulation which would allow it to fast track shale gas permits approvals. 

According to Greenpeace, some UK-wide opinion polls have shown only 19% of adults support fracking.

By Jonathan Lopez