British support for hydraulic fracking drops

Oct. 3, 2013 at 8:03 AM
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NOTTINGHAM, England, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Summer protests against British energy company Cuadrilla Resources left the public wary of hydraulic fracturing, polling data show.

Cuadrilla's drilling site in Balcombe, an English village in West Sussex county, was the target of protesters concerned its campaign was a prelude to a hydraulic fracturing operation. Hydraulic fracturing, known also as fracking, was not conducted at the site.

An online survey of more than 21,300 respondents conducted from March through September by the University of Nottingham found support for shale operations declined. The survey said "there has been a noticeable drop in approval ratings since July [when the protests began]."

Cuadrilla said it discovered oil during its Balcombe drilling. The survey found the general public linked Cuadrilla's campaign to concerns about shale natural gas extraction.

"Despite industry claims that shale gas is a clean energy resource especially compared to other fossil fuels such as oil and coal, the British public has not been so convinced," the survey, published Wednesday, found.

The company said last month it closed off the well in Balcombe while it waits for planning permission to return to test flow rates.

The University of Nottingham didn't publish a statistical margin of error in its report.

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