Cuadrilla losses mount to $17.6m

Balcombe,West Sussex, UK Anti Fracking protests..16th September

Photo: David Burr

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, has announced a loss of $17.671m for the 12 months ending 31 December 2015, up from $11.568m on the previous year.

Accounts for the parent company, Cuadrilla Resources Holdings Ltd, showed that operating and administrative expenses were similar in 2015 and 2014 ($17.5m: $16.3m).

But in 2015 revenue from its well services business, including rig hire, was down to $219,000, compared with $5.17m in 2014.

During 2015, Cuadrilla sought planning permission to drill, frack and test for shale gas at two new sites in Lancashire at Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. Both were refused by Lancashire County Council and, following the company’s appeal, they were considered at a 19-day public inquiry in spring 2016.

Earlier this month, the Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, granted permission for the Preston New Road application and said he was minded to approve Roseacre Wood.

Cuadrilla’s plans

Francis EganCuadrilla’s chief executive, Francis Egan, said in the accounts:

“The year ahead will be a pivotal and exciting one for Cuadrilla. Assessing the commercial viability of shale gas production in the UK is a national imperative, as reliance on imported gas to heat our homes, fuel our industry and generate electricity continues to rapidly grow.”

He said the company planned to begin work towards the end of the year at its Preston New Road shale gas site.

“We expect to be drilling wells in the first half of 2017 and testing the flow of gas from those wells in the second half.”

He added:

“This consent has given Lancashire a big vote of confidence in its economic and energy future and we are proud to be at the forefront in delivering this exciting opportunity for the County.”

Preston New Road Action Group, which opposes Cuadrilla’s plans, has begun a legal challenge to Mr Javid’s approval.

The public inquiry into Roseacre Wood, is to be reopened to give the company another chance to demonstrate the site can be developed without risk to highway safety.

Mr Egan said:

“I am encouraged that the Secretary Of State is minded to grant subject to further consultation on highways conditions and we look forward to demonstrating that we can meet these requirements.”

In Yorkshire, where Cuadrilla won exploration licences amounting to 1,274km2 in last year’s 14th round, the company said it would be undertaking desktop studies of the new acreage over the next year.


The accounts said Cuadrilla remained debt-free and financed by its shareholders. Ownership of the company is:

  • 45% A J Lucas, an Australian mining group
  • 45% Riverstone/Carlyle Global Energy and Power Fund IV (Cayman) LP, a US-based fund specializing in investments in energy and power companies
  • 10% Cuadrilla management team and employees

Cuadrilla’s directors were paid $1.515m in 2015. The highest paid received $716,000, according to the accounts.

Corporate and social responsibility statement

Under community, the statement said:

“We strive to be a good neighbour, recognising our responsibility to work in partnership with the communities in which we operate. We understand this means regularly communicating (listening and responding) with those communities.”

Under environment, the statement said:

“We believe that preserving a clean, safe, healthy environment can go hand in hand with meeting our energy needs. We are committed to a programme of management and continuous improvement to minimise any direct or indirect environmental impacts that may be associated with our business operations”.

Key figures

Revenue: £219,000 ($5.174m 2014)

Operating expenses: $9.64m ($8.292m 2014)

Administrative expenses: $7.815m ($8.011m 2014)

Loss for the year: $17.671m ($11.568m 2014)

Directors pay: $1,515,000, highest paid director received $716,000

Operating leases for vehicles, land and buildings: $663,000 ($847,000 2014

Charitable and community related donations $64,000 ($76,000 2014)


Annual accounts for Cuadrilla Resources Holdings Ltd

Accounts accounts for Cuadrilla Well Services  Ltd

Updated 30/10/2016 to correct two typos and broken links

47 replies »

    • ‘Directors pay: $1,515,000, highest paid director received $716,000
      Revenue: £219,000 ($5.174m 2014)’
      How can you justify a directors payout on such a measly income? No wonder the global economy is such a rip off!

  1. One might see this in a different view. They lose $15million a year in the last 5 years and didn’t even blink. Just to show they are very much committed to the project and the prize must be worthwhile. No stupid inventors or fund managers would keep paying $10 millions on admin and overhead alone years after years.

  2. TW – Cuadrilla’s investors have deep pockets – you may remember Lord Browne boasting that he would “invest “whatever it takes” – potentially running to billions of pounds – in the controversial UK “dash for gas”” before he thought better of it and waltzed off to join a Russian backed energy company (L1 Energy)

    Perhaps we are allowed a wry smile at the fact that a company which makes so much of a fuss about being locally based in Lancashire posts its accounts in US $ – yeah I know Peeny – it’s what O&G companies do, but still 🙂

    It is also interesting to see that they have spent $140,000 on charitable and community donations over the last two years, and they still haven’t got any closer to achieving that elusive social licence to operate.

    They are building up quite a nice accumulated tax loss though aren’t they?

  3. The presence of shale in the UK has been known about for decades. This is not some ‘Eureka’ discovery.

    Someone has to take the high risk to be the first to develop. In 2010 market prices started on an upward trend. Cuadrilla made their move. The expectation was that the price would rise whilst they got established. The trends have not gone to plan, in fact the price has plummeted to a level at which even those who are well established cannot survive.

    Low market prices, ‘gold standard’ production costs, infrastructure costs, and an expensive imported experienced workforce would make investors think twice before parting with their cash in the UK.

    Relentless Community opposition will increase costs dramatically.

    The amount of gas has no relevance if it is not a viable concern.

    If you wanted to invest in a shale gas industry at exactly the wrong time, today would be good.

    • Agree John. The US showed the success of shale gas is its own worst enemy. Its productive success make price plummeted and price out its own survival. It practically shoot itself in the foot. UK shale will probably wont be successful because of the political self interests of its energy policy too many ideas and no decision or clear direction. With price this low Caudrilla may not make it competitive enough to survive. Mind you they may have some real tricks up their sleave and know something that the rest of us dont to make it works. But investment in shale us a real risk at current market.

    • Why invest at all? Why do small investors think that they will get a return for their money? The only people making money from stocks and shares are the trader companies and the ‘shorters’. They are milking the small investors.

      Why not take your money and do something useful. Pay off your mortgage or help your kids with theirs; build an extension so they don’y have to move out at all and you have company in your old age. If you have a big home and don’t need it, sell and buy two small ones; the rent from the second will give you more return than ‘bet fred’ trades.

      Insulate your home…that alone will give a better return than any stock market deal. If your kids/family/friends owe money pay it off and if you feel morally obliged charge a little interest if you must 😦 If none of these, find local investments to stimulate your local economy, or if none, start your own…the intelligence and drive shown from most people on here would be great channeled into local projects.

      Stop giving third party global companies your money they have no motive to make you money, only to make for themselves. Most pension funds invest in questionable investments. Remember, if the fund makes money one year they will charge a fee; if the next it breaks even they will charge the same fee or more; if the following year it makes a loss, again they will charge that fee! The only one that loses out is you. If they make mistakes or the economy crashes YOU lose. Take control.

  4. Sorry TW it looks like the the last couple of years of stable energy prices is reaching an end. The Financial times report that ” Unless things change dramatically, there will be increases in the price of electricity and gas for all consumers over the next month or two, probably sooner rather than later,”. This is as a result of the fall in sterling combined with reduced European supply because of the French nuclear outages.

    Energy prices have been stable for a couple of years now but rapid rises will soon make the headlines (especially when wage rises don’t keep up). Nothing like the voters being hit in the pocket to make the government take action. Wonder if the Chancellor will take action in the Autumn statement – I doubt it but at least the issue will rise rapidly up the priority list.

    The Grid will probably cope this winter (bringing in high CO2 coal generators at about $3000 per mgwatt hour) but things are tight so no wonder prices rise.

    • I’m not sure about that Mark – natural gas futures can be bought over the next 5 years (to Dec 2021) for between 45p and 50p a therm. It looks to me as though the era of stable energy prices is set to continue for a while yet, and that UK wholesale gas prices will remain below the lower end of the UK shale gas extraction cost estimates that we have (I imagine) all seen published.

      • John I’m not sure I understand the discrepancy betwween the futures market and the current rising prices. I guess the lowish prices at the long end of the curve are based on the perception that the current glut of LNG (of which US shale makes a significant contribution) will continue. Regarding the price comparison I suppose I take the (I think) common sense view that if Cuadrilla can’t produce gas that competes at least with frozen and shipped LNG then they shouldn’t be in business. All Cuadrilla have to do is frack and pipe the gas to a national pipeline (I gather a distance of less than 400 metres in the case of one of their sites). I guess we won’t know the true costs until exploration starts which of course is all Cuadrilla is asking for.

        • There isn’t much of a discrepancy between the futures market and current prices Mark – my point is that nobody in the futures market seems to see prices rising over the next 5 years and the projected ceiling is a gnats whisker over the lower bound estimate of UK extraction costs (48p) and around half the upper bound (102p).

          On the RGN website it says “One of Cuadrilla’s biggest challenges is being able to compete with imported LNG and Egan believes this is fundamental to the UK shale industry. “We believe we will be cost competitive with LNG. We believe we can get it out the ground and get it into a pipeline cheaper than it can be imported.”

          I’d say he doesn’t sound as confident there as his investors might hope. According to the estimated current UK LNG landed price is $4.68 per MMBtu which is equivalent to about 38p a therm at today’s exchange rate, so maybe Francis does indeed face a bit of a challenge there?

        • Well Mark here is your proof they should not be in business.

          Landed price of LNG (all taxes and duties paid) converts to 38p per therm. Note Norway set to lower LNG prices to 20p per therm if market share is threatened.

          Click to access ngas-ovr-lng-wld-pr-est.pdf

          Here are the UK shale production costs. Note Centrica are invested in Cuadrilla and even though they quote the lowest production costs (46p per therm) it is still dearer than imported LNG. Do not forget to add some on for ‘gold standards’

          Is this proof enough? or is 46 not a bigger number than 38?

    • Whilst Arabs like Ferraris and all things gold, the US will not be allowed to take back market share. I assure you OPEC like selling millions of barrels daily to the US. A pair of diamond encrusted Dino headlights do not come cheap you know.

      Some US shale will be “allowed” onto the market. Most will sell at a loss. All trends show this.

      I find it difficult to understand why pro frackers cannot see that it is a global race to get shut of fossil fuels and that shale cannot compete with well established conventional sources.

      Any ‘rapid’ rise will be market gaps that OPEC will cash in on. Prices will decrease if the US tries to wire brush the rust of it’s fracking rigs and attempts to re enter the market.

      Straight forward supply and demand and market control.

  5. Actually the more I look into this it is coal that makes more sense, as a transition fuel at least. England has plenty of it; the mines are already there; shale gas is now proving dirtier (for overall carbon budget), and riskier; there are smarter, cleaner ways of mining coal these days; there have been incredible advances in low-to-zero carbon power plants employing new coal gasification techniques and combined cycle turbine technologies.

    Germany is becoming a world leader in renewable power, but at the cost of shoring up supplies with dirty (open pit) lignite coal. England could go head to head and possibly overtake Germany.

    • Thank you, Philip, for summing up the anti-frack argument from a practical standpoint. This really is what it comes down to. Anti-frackers must be pro-coal if they wish to keep the lights on. And to be pro-coal you need to be perfectly willing to ignore the empirical evidence about actual GHG emissions for coal and natural gas. You are the poster child for this movement. Congrats!

      • I am anti-fracking for 100’s of good reasons. Doesn’t mean I’m pro coal, but I have never argued against the need for some sort of transition fuel and the best solution would be to re-incentivise (tax breaks etc) existing oil/gas reserves (1st choice/plan A) and recent discoveries that can be tapped via conventional wells. If that is not enough for power generation as well then plan B (in my current opinion) is to use coal with the latest processes for clean energy.

        Leaving fossil fuels in the ground should be the real aim, the sooner the better.

        Meanwhile I’m not against natural gas per se but fracking is destroying environments and communities – slowly but surely – it shouldn’t even be considered … people in Texas are now looking back at shale fracking, hanging their heads and saying ‘what were we thinking?’. In the future they’ll be able to look at what you’ve been saying Peeny and say ‘Oh yeah, that’s what we were thinking’ … and hang their heads even lower. See ‘Texas Fracked To Hell and Back’ :

        • To sum up for you, Phil, you are not anti-gas, just anti-fracking. So, you are not against conventional gas extraction. Can you explain why fracking would “destroy environments and communities” while conventional gas extraction would avoid this? At the surface, fracking (which would include horizontal wells) is much more energy dense and thus creates far less impact on land use and communities than conventional wells. Not quite sure we can understand your line of reasoning here big fella.

          • I’ve covered details and posted links that describe it often enough … the Texas link alone (just above) shows many of the problems associated with fracking for regions that are exposed to it … the noise, pollution, the fugitive methane emissions, depleted local water sources, chemical contamination, the appalling treatment of locals by companies playing fast and loose with regulations (they cut corners to save money, have accidents, devalue properties, ruin farmland and so on) not to mention incessant trucking and destruction of road surfaces.

            Conventional wells – drawing gas or oil from a large underground pocket or reservoir is a very different proposition to trying to expand all the fractures in an impervious shale layer using hydraulic fracturing (with millions of gallons of water at 10,000 to 15.000 psi and stuffing the cracks with sand and chemicals). Then, with fracking you have to keep drilling more and more wells to maintain flow until you’ve industrialised an entire landscape. And fracked wells are much harder to seal successfully, given the extreme processes involved.

            That’s about it in a nutshell, just for you Peeny. But you should know all this by now surely. A momentary salvation for independent American energy supplies but at what cost? I regard preservation of water resources, land fertility, and unspoiled environments as more important to a nations wealth, health and security than an energy boom/bust cycle that lasts far less than a generation. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the industry gets hit with one of the biggest class actions in history (looking at the evidence stacking up of the damage it’s done).

            I haven’t even started on the global warming contribution – of a system that leaks at least 4% of its output into the atmosphere. It’s bad news!

            Here are few more testimonies. Do consider watching some: :: :: ::

            • Philip, I believe your arguments are a bit underwhelming. Hz fractured wells can cover much greater area from a single well pad vs. conventional wells. This is just fact, Phil my boy.

              Any industrial operation creates noise, has accidents, generates emissions, etc. etc. In fact, you could say the same about most households as well. So your point is?

              Explain to us how fracked wells are harder to seal again? Do you have any empirical data to back this claim? I have heard that there is no difference whatsoever.

              Methane leaks are thought to run between 1-3% in the industry. And natural gas is much cleaner than coal, taking fugitive emissions into account. BTW, weren’t you just arguing for imported gas the other day? And now you are shouting gas down for fugitive emissions? LOL. A wee bit inconsistent, Phil, a wee bit! Many more fugitive emissions from imported gas, son.

              • You’re full of nonsense Peeny – dogma not data. You only appear to consult the industry PR blurb. Just look at the links and address the points they raise. In one of the above an observer heard, from talking directly to the drilling operators themselves, that they said ‘casing failures are not a question of if but when’. I’m afraid you represent the unacceptable face of capitalism (of the worst kind) – not prepared to look at facts or evidence when placed before you. I don’t believe you would care if your own mother was living next to one of these fracking operations so long as you were getting at least 10% returns on your investment! Screw anyone who gets in the way, eh?

                • Oh, but you are wrong, Phil. “dogma not data. ” I’m all about the data. Why don’t you give us some data about well failure? I have reams of real data to crush whatever weak junk you can provide!

                  I look at facts. You speak from emotion. The facts are against you, Tinkerbell.

                • Not emotion – observation and documentation. These beat lies any day.

                  How long can this lie be promoted for instance that the shale/fracking industry does not pollute air and water when nearly all of the complaints, based on direct observation and experience, say exactly that. Do the homework yourself, I’ve done enough for you already (that you have no answer for, just evasions). Please present your data on the number of complaints received about the industry you’re promoting in Pennsylvania and Texas then. We’ll see if you have any credible grasp on the facts.

                  Then how about addressing the statements in the Texas ‘Fracked to Hell and Back’. And why not explain to English people how they can avoid the fate of Denton Texas (a university city of 120,000 plus) whose citizens voted by a landslide majority to ban fracking in their vicinity simply to get overruled and shafted by the O&G industry.

                • Egads, Phil. Listen to yourself. Based on direct observation, you pollute the air and water. Therefore you should be protesting your own existence.

                  You are a tabloid reading protester, Phil. You take junk science to heart, and then you link to it as if it is credible. You cannot separate propaganda from fact. Your “documentation” is nothing but trash – there is no credibility to it.

                  FYI, the Denton ban was overruled by state law. Of course in your conspiracy theory clouded mind I’m sure that you believe that the state legislature is controlled by the industry, and that they have zero compassion for the citizens that they were elected to protect. LOL.

                • Oh spare me the usual spiel that you guys come up with to discredit opposition. Cheap smears. O&G did exactly as you say – although you meant readers to laugh as if it was a joke… your sense of humour betrays a lot about who you are. The legislature of the state was in the hands (or pockets) of the industry. They simply splashed nearly a million bucks around getting the laws to go their way. America is at war with itself in that sense. Higher up you have the GOP and the republican dominated Senate awash with Fossil Fuel interests (as if you didn’t know that already!) and they’ve virtually hammered your Environmental Protection Agency into submission.

                  Here’s what the good people of Denton came up with (re. fracking): . I’d like to see your evidence that they are wrong on those points.

                  Meanwhile here’s some bedtime reading – a compendium of refereed studies running up to 2014 . Please explain your claim of junk or tabloid science in any of these sources:

                  Some further reading to help you get up to speed:

          • How many unconventional shale gas wells would you need to produce the same amount of gas that onshore conventional onshore gas wells can produce, Peeny? Let’s use the onshore Saltfleetby gas field as a comparison.

              • Goodness, so with Francis Egan claiming either 10, 15, 20 or 40 wells to a pad in the House of Lords, depending on the time of day and wind direction, you are saying each well could produce between 0.125 and 0.5 bcf. Amazing stuff Peeny – we can see why you are so excited about fracking now!

                Funnily enough you didn’t answer LTGL’s question did you? How does your mantra go again? Ah yes “Dodge, deflect, deny” LOL

                • a) I’ve answered all questions
                  b) the amount of gas produced by fracked well is well understood and documented. It’s not a mystery. I can point you to the empirical data (again) if you like!

                • Er no you haven’t – saying black is white does not make it white LOL

                  So you stand by your clam that “one well pad should produce around 5bcf of gas” do you? 🙂

                • Well done Peeny – you understood the point at last. Took you long enough though didn’t it? 🙂

        • Your dead wrong, my boy. Most Americans are not hanging their heads about anything, Phil. We are an optimistic, forward thinking, and hard working bunch. Our heads are up because we are eating your lunch. Your high energy costs are a huge drag on the economy and industry. You are losing jobs and investment to America all across Europe. We are growing fast and thriving, and our air quality is improving thanks to fracking. This is more than Europe can say for sure! LOL

          • Blind to the evidence … I’ll just paste what I wrote earlier: A momentary salvation for independent American energy supplies but at what cost? I regard preservation of water resources, land fertility, and unspoiled environments as more important to a nations wealth, health and security than an energy boom/bust cycle that lasts far less than a generation. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the industry gets hit with one of the biggest class actions in history (looking at the evidence stacking up of the damage it’s done).

            … The water crisis is biting over there – you haven’t even looked at that Texas case study have you? They’re in decline now. Dream on.

    • Phillip can you direct me towards an authority which suggests coal is more environmentally friendly than gas. What are you suggesting when you suggest we compete wit Germany. Germany has some of the most expensive electricity in Europe but because they have removed nuclear electricity generation are dependent on lignite for backup. They have not lowered their CO2 output barely one jot in the last 5 years. So we compete how, by burning the same amount of coal as them?

      There have been attempts to introduce trials of coal gasification in the UK but no-one has been given the go ahead – it’s untested on a commercial scale. Coal gassification means setting fire to the coal under the ground, contolling the burn by the amount of oxygen introduced and harvesting the produced gas when it’s vented to the surface. Is that what you mean by a viable alternative to fracking?

        • Point 10 is also rather interesting from a cost perspective isn’t it?

          “10. The low calorific value of shale gas is a major issue, says gas guru

          The average calorific value (CV) of the UK national gas grid is 39.5 megajoules per cubic metre; shale gas is quite low at around 37. To get round this, shale gas suppliers may have to inject propane, which costs 140p per therm, into gas transmission pipelines to make up for the shortfall.

          “This is a major issue,” said John Baldwin, managing director of CNG Services Limited. “You probably will have to add propane in LTS (Local Transmission Systems).”

          For injection into the National Transmission System (NTS), there would need to be “thousands of calorific value measurement devices all over the UK”, said Baldwin, in order to ensure accurate billing, as the lower CV of shale gas would mean end-users pay for gas priced at a higher CV than received”

          So it seems that it isn’t quite as simple and cheap as AJ Lucas would like us to believe when they claim Cuadrilla’s exploration sites are

          “strategically located close to gas pipelines to allow for the speedy and cost efficient distribution of gas into the United Kingdom’s extensive gas transportation network.”

      • Thanks John. My own studies had led to that same conclusion as point 7 i.e. 4% (at least) of fugitive methane emissions makes it among the worst of GHG offenders. Studies of atmospheric methane have been playing catch up with the widely debated CO2 issues and particularly in the gas industry’s own ability and interest (lack of) in the monitoring and self regulation of this issue. Interestingly I’d reached most of the conclusions in that report.

        I don’t think putting a new gloss on shale gas or rebranding it for promotional purposes (the shallow and divisive response from Simon Whitehead – point 5) will work at all… a very cynical tactic.

      • Mark … on those other points:
        – don’t know where the untested (gasification) idea comes from. There are several large scale schemes and some cutting edge projects trying to perfect the low carbon credentials of the IGCC power generation systems associated with it
        – Some links (PR whiff about some): ::: ::: :::
        – N.B. underground coal gasification has proved a highly risky/dangerous practice (too hard to control)

        Not sure about overall cost/energy ratio but there’s flexibility there – to explore the different output possibilities of syn-gas (from hydrogen to jet fuel), inputs can range from biomass to coal to heavy oils (e.g. from depleted oil wells that are otherwise less economic).

        America will be counting costs on the environmental damage from the shale gas boom for a long time to come – that should be factored into the real cost of shale gas.

        Much of Germany’s problems (pollution-wise) I imagine stems from their remaining use of one of the worlds largest open pit lignite coal mines – which they still depend on. Meanwhile spikes in domestic energy prices is spurring more solar capture (I saw a lot of examples of that recently) and it should be understood that intelligent power management allows agile methods of flipping to off-grid supply (free power apart from installation investment). And new local battery storage technologies are rapidly emerging to help solve the intermittent supply issues – at small-scale/local levels (for now).

        GE and Siemens are current world leaders in turbine technologies for large power plants but there’s no reason why UK can’t be a front runner … from the earliest gas turbines to jet engines to Rolls Royce aerospace the Brits have often been world leaders (it’s largely the same technologies involved).

        Syn gas and its Hydrogen output would allow rapid development of the hydrogen economy both transport and power gen – rapid advances are being made in that field now too.

  6. This is exactly what I meant about UK energy policy. Coal vested interests natural gas vested interests oil nuclear tidal wind onshore offshore imports etc. All have political interest and push their agenda via the media and misinformation. No one thinks the prioty is to cut CO2 and keep the light on at affordable price.

    • Not sure what your argument is here TW. Isn’t it playing god just to assume ‘No one thinks the priority is to cut CO2’ – do you know everyone’s thoughts?

    • I think almost anyone interested in energy policy has heard of the energy trilemma (3 way dilemma). The energy sources we use have to be 1) cost effective, 2) be as environmentally friendly as possible and 3) have to have security of supply. Different sources of energy score better on one aspect or another.

  7. Cuadrilla’s accounts for 2015, see Drill or Drop above, show the highest paid director of Cuadrilla takes well over half a million pounds a year (at current exchange rate). It appears the other directors are well supplied too.
    Meanwhile, the residents from the tiny Lancashire communities, cruelly targeted by this company, are constantly out with begging bowls — somehow trying to raise many thousands of pounds for more legal support to help to protect their health, their well being and the environment.

    Following the Government ruling in early October, Lancashire people are in an outrageous David and Goliath situation once again and need help urgently. Government bribes will never compensate residents for this unjust, undemocratic and stressful situation.
    . [link edited by moderator]

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