LICHFIELD, England, Oct. 17 (UPI) -- A study commissioned by British energy company Cuadrilla Resources found local residents were most concerned by water pollution from hydraulic fracturing.
Cuadrilla commissioned survey company BritainThinks to gauge the opinion of residents living near its Bowland shale operations in the north of the country.
The company said 57 percent of the respondents told pollsters they support shale gas exploration, though 30 percent of those taking part in the survey said they were most concerned about the potential impact on water supplies.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses trace amounts of potentially harmful chemicals mixed with water to free natural gas from shale rock formations. Critics have expressed concern some of those chemicals could get into groundwater supplies.
Cuadrilla Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan said he welcomed the support but issues on water show his company needs to do more to allay the public's concern.
"One issue that concerns people and is reflected in the findings of this research is around water -- an area that we will manage through the highest standards of regulation, well design and industry best practice," he said in a statement Thursday.
Egan said there have been no reported cases of water pollution from fracking to date.
BritishThink conducted its survey of 500 adults Aug. 6-21 using random telephone dialing. The margin of error was pegged at 4.4 percentage points.