Cuadrilla announces fracking go-ahead for second well

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Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool, 5 August 2018

The shale gas company Cuadrilla, announced this morning it had received permission to frack its second horizontal well in Lancashire.

The company said the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) granted hydraulic fracturing consent today for the well at Preston New Road near Blackpool. 180919 Hydraulic Fracturing Decision for Preston New Road

The first well at the site received consent in July 2018. Cuadrilla said planning and environmental permits for both wells were already in place.

Last week, officers at Lancashire County Council approved the lighting plan for the hydraulic fracturing stage of the Preston New Road operation. This includes lighting for the 28m coiled tubing tower. Some campaigners and councillors had argued that this should have been decided by the council’s planning committee.

Francis Egan, chief executive of Cuadrilla, said the company was delighted to receive this second fracking consent.

“We are currently completing works on site in readiness to start hydraulically fracturing both wells in the next few weeks.

“The UK’s need for a new and reliable source of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, is underlined by a new report¹ suggesting the UK is going to have to rely on more coal to generate electricity. That would be a massive backwards step in reducing carbon emissions, as would continuing to import gas over long distances by pipe and ship.

“We are very proud to be the first operator in the UK to make significant headway in shale gas exploration.”

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“It is unsurprising that the pro-fracking UK government have yet again, waved away the myriad of issues around fracking, and granted permission for Cuadrilla’s second well to be hydraulically fractured.

“The financial resilience of multi-million-pound losses Cuadrilla and their international backers is worrying, with recent reports that they have already burned through all of the funds Centrica gave them, and that’s even before they’ve managed to frack.

“The continual emerging climate, environmental and health evidence against fracking, and the increasing opposition – now including Conservative MPs who are threatening a rebellion against their own party on this matter – suggests that this industry is on a hiding to nothing, albeit an expensive one for them.”

Richard Marshall, a campaigner against Cuadrilla’s operation, said:

“Claire Perry shows utter contempt for the people who will suffer the consequences of fracking. Even members of her party agree that decisions on planning should be left to local authorities. She is totally ignoring all the evidence that says fracking will increase pollution and threaten water supplies. It is shameful that this government are putting people’s lives at risk.”

The Green Party MP, Caroline Lucas, said:

“The fiasco of allowing fracking at Preston New Road has been an exercise in trampling over democracy and the wishes of local people.

“The Government is paving the way for a whole new fossil fuel industry just when we should be dramatically reducing our reliance on dirty energy. If they continue down this road, they’ll face a growing backlash in Parliament and across the country.”

Yesterday, another fracking company, Third Energy told the Yorkshire Post that it would not frack this year at its gas well at Kirby Misperton in North Yorkshire. The company is still awaiting hydraulic fracturing consent after BEIS ordered a financial resilience test. Fracking equipment was moved offsite in the spring. A spokesperson told the paper:

“We are not pushing the Government for final consent because don’t have the equipment available. We don’t know when it will become available.”

49 replies »

  1. Jack-don’t get butterflies. Just spread your wings and take a look at the financial resilience info on Reuters. They could access it, others seem to have difficulty.

    You and I have been posting on this site for some while Jack. I wonder how many times the financial resilience fake news has been tried to indicate that companies will pack up and go away? What actually happens, is if some do, others take their place. Your biggest friend to sustain some credibility in this aspect would be oil at £40/barrel. Unfortunate. Facts have a way of emerging out of the fog of fiction.

    Bit late in the day to resort to that one.

    • Cuadrilla needing to borrow another $6 million dollars. The mention of the ‘beast from the east’ and the North sea pipeline issues. Added to that the need to mention that some Labour union members support fracking.

      I am very surprised if they managed to secure enough funding using those virtually irrelevant reasons.

      They may be new at the job but another $6 million dollars and years away from proving commercial viability.

      Desperate times and very thin ice springs to my mind and a lot of investors minds I should imagine.

      • This need for even more funding highlights just how expensive and unpredictable the costs of UK shale could have been. Maybe explains why the big players don’t want to get involved and why Lord Browne left Cuadrilla to work in the offshore energy sector.

  2. Or, maybe it doesn’t John! I think you will find quite a few situations where Lord Browne called it incorrectly. Well, you might not as that’s not what you want to find. However, others who have a more open mind, will find it.

    You mean those investors who trousered +7% last night, John? Maybe desperately calculating whether to stick or twist.

    That cheap oil and gas still sloshing around out there? I really would give up on the financial predictions-your record is pretty poor. I believe there could be a good opening for your skills within the IMF.

        • Can’t wait Kishy,

          ‘This is the end
          Hold your breath and count to ten
          Feel the earth move and then
          Hear my heart burst again

          For this is the end
          I’ve drowned and dreamt this moment
          So overdue, I owe them
          Swept away, I’m stolen

          Let the sky fall, when it crumbles
          We will stand tall
          Face it all together’,
          When you fall…….

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