22:22 GMT27 January 2020
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    No shale gas wells are expected to be drilled in the United Kingdom in 2016 even though the government is expected to give green light for the so-called fracking industry, The Guardian reported Monday, citing an industry source.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The news comes as the government is set to decide on accepting the Cuadrilla shale company’s appeal against Lancashire county authorities’ decision to ban it from fracking, after the county’s Council turned down Cuadrilla’s application for two shale drilling sites last year.

    According to The Guardian newspaper, even if the government supports Cuadrilla in its appeal, which it is likely to do, the first drilling could start no earlier than in April 2017. A source reportedly told the paper that no wells had been drilled into shale in 2016, and none were planned before next year.

    Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique of extracting shale gas and oil by injecting pressurized toxic liquid into the ground. Opponents of fracking argue the process poses numerous health, safety and environmental risks, including the potential for fracking fluids and waste to leak into water as well as the large volume of water used.

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