Shale gas beneath Banburyshire could be drilled at a fraction of the depth the Government claims as ‘safe’, according to experts.
The gas beneath the potentially lucrative triangle between Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington is only 200 metres beneath the surface.
National fracking expert Paul Mobbs, of Banbury, said: “The Government claims the depth of fracking ensures pollution can’t reach the surface and in the recent consultation they stated 500-1,000 metres or more was ‘safe’.
“If we look at the area they wish to licence locally, the gas bearing strata found in drilling during the 1960s occur just 200 metres below the surface, making it possibly the shallowest of the licence areas in Britain.”
Mr Mobbs said fracking – drilling down and flushing out gas using vast quantities of water and chemicals – will blight people’s lives locally but will never get rid of the need for oil importation.
A public meeting will be held at the Friends Meeting House, Horse Fair, Banbury at 7.30pm on Wednesday to discuss the issue. It will be attended by Green MEP Keith Taylor. He said: “The government is hell-bent on carving up our contryside in this new dash for gas. If it was serious about meeting climate change obligations we should be directing more money to community-owned renewables rather than tax breaks for corporations wanting to frack in our countryside.”