Cuadrilla announced today that the Preston New Road shale gas project had generated total spending of £8.6m in Lancashire economy since the start of 2016.
Meanwhile, figures from Lancashire Constabulary show that total costs for policing outside the well site at Preston New Road reached almost £7m by the end of March 2018.
Details of Cuadrilla’s spending in Lancashire are contained in the company’s quarterly “Lancashire Commitments Tracker“.
The latest version showed total spending from the start of 2016 up to the end of March this year. In addition to the £7.58m spent directly by Cuadrilla in Lancashire, the tracker said the company’s contractors have now spent over £1 million in the local economy.
The document also showed that Community Benefits payments by Cuadrilla have now reached the £200k figure promised after drilling two wells at Preston New Road.
With the drilling phase nearing completion, Cudrilla’s direct spend fell by 12.5% over the quarter while the indirect spend from sub-contracting was the lowest recorded. The total number of Lancashire-based contractors who have worked for the company increased by 5 to 37.
Total Policing costs approach £7m
The latest data from Lancashire Police said the total cost of policing outside the site in the first quarter of 2018 was £1.02m. This was slightly more than the figure for the first quarter of 2017, but a larger proportion of the costs was accounted for by overtime rather than normal hours (which are shown as Officer Plain Time on the chart).
Other costs include non-staff costs such as equipment, cars and welfare vans and time.
The total cost of policing outside the Preston New Road site up to the end of March 2018 was £6.94m.
The Government had said it would contribute £1.4m, or around 20% of the bill, leaving the local force to bear the rest of the cost. DrillOrDrop report
Reaction to the figures
Francis Egan, CEO of Cudrilla, said:
“Having completed drilling the first horizontal well into UK shale, and currently finishing the second, we are delighted that our important exploratory work at Preston New Road has benefited the local economy by nearly £9 million to date.
“We are also very encouraged to see even more businesses in the county registering to work with Cuadrilla via the Supply Chain Portal, especially as working with Lancashire suppliers remains a key priority and commitment for us, and that our suppliers have in turn generated over £1 million of revenue for other Lancashire companies.”
Frack Free Lancashire said:
“Cuadrilla would do well to consider offsetting their so-called “benefits” into Lancashire’s economy, with the spiralling expenditure that they have created by their imposition onto our community. For example, the policing bill alone has a price tag upwards of £7m and is estimated at nearly double that. Since the government are only returning 20% of this figure, we can clearly see the burden on taxpayers to publicly fund Cuadrilla’s private activities. That alone is a shocking fact.
“We would suggest they should concentrate their PR efforts upon respecting democracy and the crisis that is climate change. Fracking has zero future within the UK’s energy requirements nor its carbon budget. Renewables are our only option for a clean future.”
“It’s very pleasing to see that Cuadrilla and its contractors continue to favour Lancashire suppliers, and that local spend in the last quarter rose to £8.6 million – dwarfing the additional £2.7 million it’s cost Lancashire taxpayers to police the protests outside the Preston New Road site beyond the pay of those officers that would have been on duty anyway, and accounting for the fact the Home Office is footing £1.4 million of the policing bill too.”