February 8, 2012 10:38 am
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Fracking: battle lines are drawn



THE battle lines are now drawn in the ‘fracking’ war following last week’s announcement by Tamboran, the Australian mining company that it believes there is sufficient shale gas in the Belcoo-Garrison area to provide Northern Ireland’s needs for the next 50 years.
Objectors are sceptical of the number of jobs the company says will be created and they are concerned about the impact on the environment resulting from ‘fracking’.
However, the Energy Minister, Arlene Foster has accused some anti-frackers of ‘hyping up scare stories’.
The company is now moving towards compiling an environmental assessment of its methods so it can get approval to carry out practical testing. If this proves viable, it will then seek DoE planning permission and, a licence to extract gas.
Last week, a director of the company, Tony Bazley predicted that the venture could create 600 jobs, and he emphatically rejected claims that chemicals would be used in the ‘fracking’ (using high pressure water to flush out the gas in the rock).