What is Fracking?

September 1, 2014 12:35 pm

What is Fracking?

We’re being asked more and more often about fracking by clients who want to know how it might affect their sale or purchase of a property. This article sets out what you should consider.

Fracking (‘hydraulic fracturing’) is a fairly new method of obtaining gas from underground which is then used as energy. Chemicals and sand are pumped into underground rock in order to create small fractures which release the target gas. This gas is then captured and used.

This activity is certainly something that buyers and sellers of property need to be aware of, and we advise that an inexpensive Energy and Infrastructure search is carried out on the property’s location. The search result will show what activity is licensed in the area, and what activity is actually being carried out, enabling clients to make an informed decision, or to carry out further research.

Protests over fracking in certain areas have also centred on the disruption caused by the trucks and equipment brought in to carry out the work, which is a separate issue, though one which is still important when thinking about property. The NIMBY (not in my back yard) consideration is certainly nothing to apologise for when your property is potentially at stake. I am personally in favour of fracking, but would be the first person to object if a licence were considered near where I live.

There is currently little general awareness of the actual impact of fracking, and there appears to be no evidence of any potential danger of fracking leading to underground stability problems. Such issues would clearly pose a risk to the structural stability of property. Another area of concern is that fracking could lead to water contamination issues. Again, evidence of this is unclear but the fact that such issues are being discussed may have an impact on a property’s future marketability.

So while the jury is definitely still out on the actual risks of fracking, the very existence of a licence to frack in a particular area may affect a buyer’s decision to buy a property, whether or not fracking eventually turns out to be completely harmless.


Please feel free to contact us if you’d like to discuss this issue further, telephone us on 01522 687500 or email enquiries@pagenelson.co.uk