Cuadrilla to appeal after local authorities reject fracking plan for northwest England

LONDON – Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. says it will appeal a local authority decision to block the oil and gas exploration company’s bid to frack shale gas in northwest England — a setback for plans to establish a fracking industry in Britain.

Lancashire county councillors last month rejected plans for exploratory drilling at two sites about 240 miles (385 kilometres) northwest of London, citing effects on traffic and the landscape.

Britain’s government hopes fracking will reduce the country’s reliance on gas imports.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said Thursday that fracking is safe and would help create jobs, heat homes and stimulate economic growth.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, injects water, sand and chemicals under high pressure to crack open underground formations and make it easier to recover oil and gas.