UKOOG (UK Onshore Oil and Gas) Chief Executive Ken Cronin dismisses a new research paper released Wednesday, which claimed that the traffic impact of an onshore well pad could create “substantial” increases in local air quality pollutants during high activity periods.
Commenting on the latest ReFINE research paper, which investigated the traffic related environmental impacts of fracking operations, Cronin criticised the study’s lack of UK-focused data:
“This report into the traffic-related environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing operations released by ReFINE, uses US data, and doesn't take account of the UK’s strict regulatory and planning regimes which require logistics planning and integrated traffic management to be a part of every planning application. Permitting and planning systems restrict truck movements at night and at certain times of the day.
“Additionally the report’s conclusions fail to take into account, that in the UK, water is more often available through pipelines, so there is no need to transport it across the country by truck.
“The UK has a long history of onshore exploration, successfully mitigating traffic impacts at other onshore locations. The industry is also working with transport and logistics experts currently to identify key principles for the minimisation of traffic impacts at production sites, learning from best practice at other significant infrastructure projects.”
When using simulation models to explore hypothetical future technology timelines over a range of well development scenarios covering several decades, the study showed that the overall impact to a region, or a country as a whole, appear somewhat negligible compared to general traffic or industrial activities.
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