Cuadrilla seeks consent to retain Elswick gas site


Cuadrilla’s Elswick site in Lancashire. Photo: Cuadrilla Resources

The shale gas company, Cuadrilla, wants more time at its gas production site at Elswick in Lancashire.

The company has submitted a planning application to Lancashire County Council seeking consent for the “retention, refurbishment and continued use” of the site for another five years.

It also sought permission for the continued generation of electricity from gas produced at the site.

The company said in a statement the application did not involve drilling, fracking “or indeed any major works”.

At the time of writing, the application had not been published online by Lancashire County Council. A council public consultation runs until 7 February 2020.

Elswick, in the Fylde, is Cuadrilla’s only gas production site. But data from the Oil & Gas Authority showed that the site produced no gas from January-September 2019, the most recent figures available.

It has a single vertical well, completed and stimulated by Independent Energy in 1993.

The gas was extracted from sandstone rocks (albeit quite low permeability), not impermeable shale.  During the site’s early life, it generated 1MW of electricity from a small onsite generator, Cuadrilla said.

Company censure over Elswick

In April 2013, Cuadrilla was censured over claims about fracking at Elswick made in a community newsletter.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld six of the 18 complaints made in the newsletter and ordered Cuadrilla not to distribute it again without changes.

On Elswick, the newsletter said:

“Our permanent site at Elswick has been quietly producing natural gas since 1993. Located just off the main road in to Elswick … The Elswick well was hydraulically fractured in 1993 and extracts gas from the sandstone formation.”

The complainant, the campaign website, Refracktion, argued that this was intended to “provide a falsely reassuring comparison between what had happened on a vertically fracked well and what would happen in future, using horizontal fracturing”.

Cuadrilla said there was “no material difference and only immaterial technical variations” between fracking of the Elswick well and horizontal fracturing then proposed for the Preese Hall site, also in the Fylde. The claim had been made to reassure residents that the proposed techniques were similar”, Cuadrilla told the ASA.

But the ASA found the comparison between the two sites gave a misleading impression of the possible outcome. On this statement, it ruled that Cuadrilla had breached three of its codes.

  • DrillOrDrop will follow Cuadrilla’s application for Elswick through the planning system

13 replies »

  1. This Elswick vertical gas production well was purchased by Cuadrilla in 2010, 17 years after it was drilled and stimulated.

    It is still an assett for creating cash flow and possible propaganda purposes.

    But only if still fit for purpose and licenced to operate!

    Unlike the unconventional fracking operations at PNR and Preese Hall it has not caused swarms of Hydrofrac earthquakes and related property damage!

        • In the theoretical NW-SE layout of sites across the Fylde Elswick would be in the the same row as Roseacre. With Roseacre a no go I do not think they would not want to loose another part of the jigsaw especially as they have already burned through £ 270,000,000 of investors money.

        • My point is that should any of you pro-fracking posters wish to provide EVIDENCE to the contrary I would be happy to read it?
          You got any such Eli-Goth?

            • Already looked there Martin but it’s either too long ago to feature on the BGS or there were no earthquakes around Elswick around the time when it was vertically drilled and stimulated. I’ve asked Dr. Baptie to confirm but he’s not replied yet.

  2. What a responsible company Cuadrilla are!

    I’m sure they are so concerned to supply Peter’s Polyfilla, that they are looking to maximise the output of their other assets to fund.

    Gold Standard.

      • Remember those mug punters who had a “disappointing” year, John?

        Hmm, those mugs who bought Egdon and have trousered almost 20% in 3 HOURS today, will only be disappointed they had not bought more stock! Pretty fruity tree. You have a habit of quotations that are almost immediately trumped by reality. Your classic of “plenty of cheap gas and oil” just before the Beast from the East is probably still No.1, but 13th (hmm) January appears a close No.2.

  3. Oh, the mug punter phrase again! Bit ironic the phrase was actually coined by competitors to the individual investors ie. the Fund Managers, to imply they (iis) should provide the Fund Managers with a source of income because they were better at it-yet, recent research would indicate that was not supported by reality!!

    Would your motivation be that different, JP? And any closer to reality?

    However, pleased to see Sir Jim has shown his perseverance, and finally obtained his PP.

  4. Be fair, oil & gas are not causing climate destruction… There are too many people on earth nowadays, so just skip 5 billion of the world population and plant a billion hectares with trees. Climate saved.

  5. Even practising to produce people can exacerbate climate change.

    Wait for the campaign to stop that. Obviously, would be lead by those below a certain age.

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