Cuadrilla reviewing oil plans in Balcombe

Sept. 4, 2013 at 7:42 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- British energy company Cuadrilla Resources said it would review drilling options in West Sussex, the scene of recent protects, under the terms of a 2010 deal.

Cuadrilla said it pulled a planning application to extend an oil drilling operation in the West Sussex village of Balcombe. The company said its operations would be suspended by Sept. 28 under the terms of a 2010 deal, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The company said it would submit a new application by the end of the month for well testing in the area. No hydraulic fracturing is planned.

Campaigners with a group called No Dash for Gas have staged protests at the drilling site and at the London headquarters of the energy company. Cuadrilla says it's drilling a conventional oil well in Balcombe but critics say they're worried it's a prelude to hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking.

Friends of Earth said Tuesday it was frustrated with a government decision to stop notifying the community about land development plans.

"It's little wonder communities don't trust the government over fracking when their rights are so clearly being bulldozed aside to smooth the path for the big fracking firms," Friends of Earth campaigner Andrew Pendleton said in a statement.

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