Manchester

Barton Moss fracking: For and against

Image caption Anti-fracking campaigners set up the camp at Barton Moss in November

The energy company IGas has been granted permission to build a vertical test well at the site in Barton Moss, between Barton Aerodrome and the M62 motorway.

The company said it plans "exploratory drilling" to take samples of rock for analysis to explore potential energy reserves beneath the area.

BBC News spoke to people for and against possible fracking there.

FOR: Ernie Rutter, professor of structural geology at The University of Manchester

"The borehole being drilled by IGas at Barton Moss is an exploratory hole to find out what the rocks are like at depth and whether they might flow gas.

"People often say that shale gas development should not go ahead without 'more research'.

"This is the essential research necessary to determine whether or not we can have a viable industry.

"This borehole meets all the regulatory and planning requirements and should go ahead without any disruption.

"It cannot impact adversely on anyone."

AGAINST: Laura Bannister, North West Green Party European election candidate

Image copyright Green Party

"I can't see any benefits to fracking - it's just a distraction from the real solutions which are needed to tackle our energy crisis.

"Fracking won't bring down energy prices or create many jobs, but investment in home insulation and renewable energy would.

"Fracking has significant potential to pollute the air and contaminate our water supplies and it's certain to contribute to climate change.

"Renewable energy sources such as off-shore wind turbines are a much better way to generate energy.

"The fact that the government is now resorting to handing out cash to local communities shows that they know they're losing the argument.

"Green Party members from right across the North West travelled to Barton Moss yesterday, showing that we're really at the forefront of political opposition to this new dash for gas."

FOR: Dr James Verdon, geo-physicist

"It's vitally important that companies do follow the rules.

"We've been drilling oil and gas wells for 30 years without incidents, that suggests that our regulatory regime in this country is sufficient that this (fracking) can be done safely."

AGAINST: Carmen Peruga, Frack Free Greater Manchester

"One of my biggest fears is that the planet doesn't understand regulations and will react to being pumped with poisonous chemicals.

"Those chemicals will be released, it's not safe.

"We can see from what's happened in America, that it really is not a safe process and the waste water has to be disposed of somewhere."

FOR: Dr Christopher Green, director of GFRAC and government advisor on fracking

"To be honest, I don't see the risk if this is done properly.

"Because of the close scrutiny we have been under, we are doing things that are right and proper, but now we need to do a frack and see what happens.

"Would I allow fracking under my house? Absolutely.

"Tell me, what are the risks? How is it covered [by insurance] and, if there are any issues, how I get compensated in a timely fashion?"

AGAINST: Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley and Eccles South

"There is still a great deal we do not know about exploitation of shale gas and there are valid concerns as to whether the exploratory drilling process is safe and environmentally sound.

"The Barton Moss drilling site is too close to local homes, schools and businesses and I am concerned that there may be health hazards for local people living in such close proximity to the proposed drilling activity.

"I also have concerns about the impact that drilling operations could have on local house prices and insurance cover.

"This process is controversial and the protest taking place against it has to be policed.

"These (policing) costs have to come out of Greater Manchester Police budgets and I have concerns that this will also have an impact on everyday police work in Salford."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites