On 20th September, Dr. Peter Webb gave an informative fracking presentation to a well-attended meeting at Irlam Station.

Pete, a petroleum geo-scientist and member of The Geological Society, has over 40 years' experience in the oil and petroleum industry. His work has taken him to various countries in Europe, Japan, Kazakhstan, Africa and S.E. Asia. He now spends his time leading geological field studies and taking part in public presentations.

He began the evening by explaining what shale is and where it can be found. He then went, step-by-step, through the mechanical operation of extracting the gas, or petroleum, from underground.We were surprised to hear that the chemicals used in fracking are already being used in our homes in products such as food flavourings, ice-cream and household cleaning agents!

Other aspects covered were the potential harmful effects of the fracking process on aquifers and the atmosphere, whether fracking could trigger earthquakes, pollution problems and the wider impact on the landscape during and after shale gas operations.

The evening concluded with a question and answer session.