Fracking in the UK will be impossible at any meaningful scale and will not help with the energy price crisis, the founder of the UK’s first fracking company has warned.Chris Cornelius, the geologist who founded Cuadrilla Resources, which drilled the UK’s first modern hydraulic fracturing wells in Lancashire, told the Guardian that he believed the government’s support for it is merely a “political gesture”.“I don’t think there is any chance of fracking in the UK in the near term.”He said that when Cuadrilla had operated here, it had discovered that the geology of the UK was unsuited to widespread fracking operations. “No sensible investors” would take the risk of embarking on large projects here, he said. “It’s very challenging geology, compared with North America [where fracking is a major industry].”Unlike the gas-bearing shale deposits in the US, the shale resource in the UK is “heavily faulted and compartmentalised”, making it far harder to exploit at any scale.Liz Truss, the prime minister, has made clear she supports fracking and will lift the moratorium that has been in place since 2019, though it remains to be seen where and how sites will be licensed.
She has said she hopes to see gas from fracked sites as soon as six months from now.But Cornelius said that “would not happen”.
Truss’s decision to give the green light to fracking “is not going to have an impact” on the UK’s energy supply, he told the Guardian in an interview. “It makes good soundbites but I can’t see anything happening,” he said.In the longer term, he said it was possible there could be a few localised operations, but they would be small and could not make a meaningful contribution to the UK’s energy needs. “They will never be at scale, becauseRead more on theguardian.com