UK shale gas firm Cuadrilla to submit plans to frack in Lancashire

LONDON Mon May 19, 2014 12:38pm BST

The Cuadrilla drilling site is seen in Balcombe, southern England August 15, 2013. REUTERS/Gareth Fuller/Pool

The Cuadrilla drilling site is seen in Balcombe, southern England August 15, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Gareth Fuller/Pool

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LONDON (Reuters) - British shale gas firm Cuadrilla Resources will submit plans this month to hydraulically fracture up to four exploration wells in Lancashire, northwest England, the firm said on Monday.

Cuadrilla will apply for permission before the end of May from Lancashire County Council to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas from up to four exploration wells at its site at Preston New Road.

The council could take up to 16 weeks to approve the plans.

Cuadrilla will also ask for permission to install a network of seismic monitoring stations in a 4-kilometre radius of the proposed exploration site.

It will also submit a separate planning application for a second proposed exploration site at Roseacre Wood a few weeks after the Preston New Road application, the company said.

Shale gas is natural gas trapped in dense rock formations. The process of fracking, in which water and chemicals are pumped deep underground to break open the rocks, has led to fears it could cause earthquakes and contaminate drinking water.

Cuadrilla has faced opposition from environmental protesters who hindered the firm's drilling plans in the village of Balcombe, south England, last year.

"We have undertaken extensive consultation and engagement with the local communities on these applications and have listened carefully to what people have told us," Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said in a statement.

Britain, Europe's largest gas consumer, hopes to follow the United States into energy independence by exploiting shale gas. Its gas imports have already surpassed falling domestic North Sea production, leaving it dependent on foreign suppliers.

Britain's largest shale gas company is IGas, which announced an acquisition of rival Dart Energy earlier this month, giving it access to more than 1 million acres of shale.

Last week, oil and gas explorer Egdon Resources announced a takeover offer for Alkane Energy's shale gas assets to make it Britain's second-largest shale gas company.

(Editing by Louise Heavens)

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Comments (1)
FairBobby wrote:
It has taken seven years for Britain to get to this point in shale gas extraction. The same can be achieved in seven days in the USA. Perhaps we can more likely compare Britain with a third-rate South American Republic. Argentina, for example. Their rigs have already started production. It seems we would rather throw away our money on useless wind turbines, and shut down our power stations. Certainly we are squandering billions of pounds on wood pellets in the mistaken belief it will reduce CO2 and save the planet. The policies of madmen seem to have gained the upper hand, and we the people, are paying through the nose.

May 19, 2014 3:39pm BST  --  Report as abuse
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