Cuadrilla oil drilling stalls amid protests

Aug. 16, 2013 at 7:32 AM

LONDON, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Oil drilling by Cuadrilla Resources in West Sussex near the western British coast is scaled down in response to protests, the company said Friday.

No Dash for Gas, an advocacy group concerned with hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, said Friday it was planning a campaign through the weekend to protest Cuadrilla's exploration efforts.

The company said it was scaling back drilling operations following advice from area police. It said there were "threats of direct action" against the site but planned to restart operations as soon as it was safe to do so.

No Dash for Gas said it viewed Cuadrilla's decision as "a victory" in its effort to thwart fracking in the region.

Critics of the drilling practice are concerned it may lead to contamination of groundwater supplies. The advocacy group said it was opposed to "dirty fossil fuel extraction."

Cuadrilla said it would need additional permits if it decided to proceed with a fracking campaign.

"Cuadrilla's exploration work at Balcombe involves drilling a conventional oil well," Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan said in a statement. "External groups protesting against hydraulic fracturing at Balcombe do so without any work proposal from Cuadrilla to judge."

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