Fracking moratorium will be lifted – but not this year, says Cuadrilla’s owner

PNR 191229 Maxine Gill

Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool, 29 December 2019. Photo: Maxine Gill

The owner of the fracking firm Cuadrilla predicted today that England’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing would be lifted – but not before 2021.

Fracking at Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road site near Blackpool was suspended on 26 August 2019 after causing the UK’s strongest fracking-induced earth tremor. The 2.9ML event was felt across the region and prompted almost 200 reports of damage to buildings.

The government issued a moratorium on fracking in England on 2 November 2019 following advice from the regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, about the risk of seismic activity.

A statementfrom Cuadrilla’s Australian owners, AJ Lucas, issued early this morning UK time, said:

“Lucas expects the moratorium to be lifted and exploration to resume once appropriate measures are agreed and put in place to manage and mitigate risks from induced seismicity.

“However, we would not expect that decision to occur before 2021.”

AJ Lucas, which owns 93% of Cuadrilla, was responding to comments by the UK energy minister, Kwasi Kwarteng on 18 June 2020. He said “fracking is over”, “the debate’s moved on. It’s not something that we’re looking to do”.

The company suspended trading yesterday in advance of this morning’s statement. It added:

“During the moratorium AJ Lucas and other UK shale gas companies continue to work constructively together and with independent scientific experts with the objective of gathering and presenting appropriate scientific evidence to demonstrate that future shale gas appraisal and commercialization operations can be safely conducted.

“The UK Regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), is also co-ordinating a number of separate studies led by technical experts using the extensive data set acquired by Cuadrilla.”

AJ Lucas said gas would continue to play “an important role in providing energy to the UK” for many decades. “Natural gas from shale remains a potentially hugely valuable UK resource”, it added.

A company statement last month said Cuadrilla was looking at conventional oil and gas opportunities in the UK and predicted there would be no fracking in 2020.

21 replies »

  1. Seems Cornwall is another part of the world that can be sacrificed to the greens, John. Those in St. Keverne are not too happy about having their backyard blown up to be carted off to Swansea, either. Local democracy?

  2. I predict that there are still a few mug punters who have lost so much that they will convince themselves UK fracking will still happen. I predict that number will be very small. The ‘industry’ has already be pummeled by well organised communities. I predict if UK shale tries to resurface it will be pummelled once again.

  3. Who was the guy who “predicted” there was plenty of cheap gas and oil sloshing around the world-just before the Beast from the East, jP?

    I suggest leave the predictions to Mystic Meg.

    I think the “mug punters” have moved on to UKOG, jP, and are now very smug punters. In the words of Donald Trump, 8.20am on 23/6- “I’m out. 30% profit”.

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