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. A sad day in the history of our country and the planet. Local democracy has been ignored and overruled by a government in thrall to the oil and gas industry.

    • Great news for UK and the environment. We will no longer need to compress and freeze gas in Middle East and ship it thousands of miles by dirty ships, at massive expense and pollution. We can do it pollution free and make money for everyone 😁😁😁

    • Gasman you know that all fracked UK energy is sold on the international market, usually to the highest bidder? If you think we currently use or need UK natural gas then better hope your supplier is putting in a firm bid on your behalf and you’ll be totally fine with the price rises when its not as cheap as Russian conventional gas.

      • Bob. You’re quite correct that any fracked gas they eventually may obtain would be sold on the open market to the highest bidder. Even the frackers themselves admit that and that fracking will not mean cheaper energy. The government also admit that we receive only 0.5% of our gas from Russia even though they continually drop,the word Russia into any discussion on fracking in order to give the impression to the public that are dependent on Russia. We are not.

  2. Gasman. You try holding your breath and not using using any clean water for six months and then find out if it’s worth risking contaminating our air and water by fracking for gas.

  3. You’ll frack your way into climate death for your children, still feel smug? Catch up with the real news, renewables are the way forward so divest from big OG.

  4. I’m SORRY to see that the ordinary folk, OUR GOOD FRIENDS and ALLIES in the USA, will suffer most as a result of Climate Change ….

    Surely ALL eyes will be on the BIG polluters, that financially line the pockets of the chosen few . That have chosen for the sake of money , to ignore the serious warnings of Climate Change .

    The headline today …….. Independent Newspaper

    US to be hit worse than almost any other country by climate change, report says

  5. I was reading your post with interest (as always!) Jack until I came to the last sentence. “Going all out for shale”?????

    Sorry Jack, there is absolutely ZERO data to support that. It is a fiction within elements of the anti camp that is trotted out when sensible comments have failed.

    A poor attempt at exciting a few individuals who would actually profit from some yoga, and sleep, to calm their souls.

    Strange hours you keep Jack. Or, standard hours of someone who wishes to maintain an export market?

  6. And look what happened to him, Jack!

    Not a good idea to believe what politicians say. You could end up with a diesel to trundle around to protests, desperately claiming you are a true believer.

    I suspect UK might have done if the US had not been so successful in reducing oil and gas prices across the world (until recently). The financial push for it drifted away for a while but has now returned. Please don’t start the “will not influence energy prices” because Norway knows that but they still know it MASSIVELY influences their economy and the benefits to their population.

  7. It would not bring energy prices done on your say so, Martin. It didn’t in Australia and it wouldn’t here, as gas is sold on the open market right across Europe. Our situation and market is very different from America. A fact you rather conveniently gloss over. Fracking is not even good for investors anymore, there are no big players, only INEOS which is so heavily indebted they are only pushing it out of desperation to keep their plastics production on the road. INEOS want to change the facts on the ground, but really it is a vanity project by Jim Ratcliffe – shareholders are not so stupid, the business case for shale is awful, independent geologists are sceptical of the potential in the UK, and the geology is so faulted it is bound to cause earthquakes like the first two. The environmental impact on a densely populated island ensures that the political pressure to limit or stop it means there will NEVER be a viable shale industry. This well may or may not be fracked, but so many of the residents and wider public are determined to stop it going any further. This one alone threatens the electoral prospects of the Conservatives who are already beleaguered that it would be a foolish investor to think this or the next (Labour) government will slam the doors shut. Permitted development is just not going to happen.

  8. Sorry you don’t understand the realities Ian. I will not bother to explain the details again but I would caution against continuing to rely upon myths and magic. You may get away with it whilst there is no factual data being presented by the companies involved, but when/if they are able to do that your sort of comments together with the historical comments of the antis will be rather exposed.

    Let me just explain one little point. If you have a wealth fund containing over 1 trillion dollars of assets you obtain an income to spend as desired. Nothing to do with an “open market”. Additionally, you have the taxation received from the production of the oil and gas to spend as desired. You actually receive more of that taxation if “open market” prices are high. One of the items someone might decide to spend those monies on might be a method to alleviate energy poverty amongst vulnerable sectors. It really is not that complicated.

    “Alternatively”, you can have none of that and then force the tax payer to cough up over £1 billion to build a lagoon, when the business behind it is not financially secure and has no mandate from those that would have their livelihoods wrecked via the scheme, then asking those same tax payers to pay a high premium for the energy produced. Now, that is complicated.

    • Completely agree

      There are a lot of people on here not realising that the shale gas will enter our grid network and pay huge amounts of money to the treasury even before it is sold.

      If that doesn’t demonstrate secure supply of Gas to the U.K nothing will

      Only a couple of weeks now until Cuadrilla demonstrate shale gas can be extracted safely and be hugely economically viable and turn this Countries fortunes around, the following years will show a considerable lowering of U.K CO2 Emissions.

      I think after Cuadrilla reports and shale gas will be considered as National importance I’ll pop back to see a few silly posts by the antis then switch my central heating on and enjoy the warmth.
      In future years books and documentaries will be made about the early shale industry and those funding anti organisations. I’ll look forward to people being interviewed from both sides

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