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.”