Cuadrilla breaches permit again

Fracking firm Cuadrilla breached rules on monitoring a flare at its Preston New Road site, part of terms added to its environmental permit last year.

In October, the Environment Agency consented to the use of a ‘nitrogen lift’ – a standard oil and gas industry technique used to clear waste liquids and boost hydrocarbon flow. The regulator allowed it to be used for 30 days at most, although it was only employed between 24 October and 11 November.

By then, around 115kg of methane had been vented into the atmosphere. However, this is “considerably less than the worst case provided in the operator’s air quality assessment”, according to an EA compliance assessment report issued on 22 November.

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