Energy company Cuadrilla Resources has faced nearly two weeks of protests against its preliminary oil exploration campaign in Balcombe, a city in West Sussex near the southeast coast. Opposition groups suspect the effort could be a prelude to a broader hydraulic fracturing operation.
The BBC reported Wednesday the company doesn't expect the site to go into full-scale production. Friends of Earth campaign director Andrew Pendleton said Wednesday the company bowed to local opposition.
"Communities don't want to see their quality of life and local environment threatened by fracking and are rightly skeptical about claims it will lead to cheaper fuel bills," he said in a statement.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has come out in support of hydraulic fracturing, a drilling technology helping with oil and natural gas production gains in the United States. Critics of the practice, dubbed fracking, worry it could cause groundwater contamination.
"The government should pull the plug on fracking and create an energy policy that generates jobs and tackles climate change by developing Britain's massive renewable energy potential," Pendleton said.
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