We are aware of an ongoing protest outside our shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, Lancashire. This is not impacting on operations. We have no objection to peaceful, law abiding protest whilst recognising that our neighbours, motorists using the busy road and our staff and contractors should also be able to go about their business without disruption, inconvenience or intimidation.
We would like to add that we are exploring for shale gas at Preston New Road to establish a domestic energy supply that the UK really needs. The Bowland Shale as a whole could be a very important resource for Lancashire and the UK and, whilst hydraulic fracturing is currently suspended, we would like to continue with our work to prove this.
To reach net zero by 2050 the Committee on Climate Change is clear that the UK will need about 70 per cent of the natural gas that we are using today, in conjunction with carbon capture and storage for electricity and as a feedstock for the manufacture of hydrogen. Natural gas is recognised by the experts to be an important part of the solution. We intend to be a part of that solution in providing lower emission UK shale gas to replace higher emission imported gas whilst also generating local jobs and economic benefit.