Cuadrilla secures final approval for first UK frack since 2011

pnr 180923 Ros Wills

Cuadrilla’s fracking site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, 23 September 2018. Photo: Ros Wills

The Oil and Gas Authority has cleared the way for fracking at Cuadrilla’s shale gas site near Blackpool.

The regulator announced this afternoon it had approved the company’s proposal to frack the first well at its Preston New Road site:

“The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has today approved the Hydraulic Fracture Plan for the PNR1Z well at the Preston New Road site as described in plans put forward by Cuadrilla Bowland Limited.

“The OGA has also approved a well completion proposal for the PNR1Z well, including hydraulic fracturing operations, and has approved a three-year extended well test.”

Cuadrilla confirmed it now had all the consents it needed to go ahead with the UK’s first hydraulic fracture of a horizontal shale gas well. This will also be the first high volume frack since Cuadrilla’s operation at Preese Hall in 2011, which was linked to small earthquakes.

The OGA approval is part of the Well Operations Notification System (WONS). This is used to check that oil and gas companies are complying with their licence.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) separately granted hydraulic fracturing consent for the first well at Preston New Road in July 2018 and the second well last week (DrillOrDrop report). The OGA has yet to approve the hydraulic fracture plan for the second well.

Cuadrilla said this afternoon:

“We have all we need for well one and will go ahead on that basis.”

Early this morning, Cuadrilla brought in two convoys of fracking equipment. It confirmed it now had all the necessary equipment on site. DrillOrDrop report

A spokesperson added:

“[Fracking] is a few weeks away as the equipment has to be assembled.”

28 replies »

  1. Gottabekidding, even your language sounds American never mind your ideology!

    Fracking is just another piece of American rubbish we have apparently imported. Massively oversold, overpriced and over here. For a short time anyway!

    • Check out the NG output for tonight, dirty coal is producing 10% of our electricity, the highest figure for some time. Why? Because coal is now cheaper than gas even with the massive carbon surcharge it carries. Why? Because gas is moving from a glut of supply to being quite tight, driven in particular by massive demand from the Far East where there is a pollution driven switch from coal to gas (and other factors).

      The press, obsessed as they are with Brexit, are missing the story of rapidly rising gas and electricity prices. Electricity this week has moved to over £100 per mwh at peak times, a price not normally seen until winter. Similarly gas prices are on a rising curve. The price of oil and gas has many moving parts but for the next few months it’s looking like we’re heading for higher prices at a time when wages are rising only slowly.

  2. Probably a “conspiracy” that means PNR might show what it can do just as gas prices really get noticed as new bills fall on the doormat and winter starts. As long as the tests are positive it looks as if they may merge with a perfect storm.

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