The fracking company, Cuadrilla, has left its headquarters in Lancashire after nearly five years and moved to serviced offices near Manchester Airport.
The company has also surrendered an environmental permission for its Preston New Road fracking site near Blackpool.
The moves came as Cuadrilla described itself as “largely non-operational”.
Hydraulic fracturing at Preston New Road was suspended on 26 August 2019, after it caused the UK’s largest fracking-induced earthquake, measuring 2.9ML. A government moratorium on fracking in England imposed on 2 November 2019 is still in force.
A week ago, Cuadrilla’s accounts said the company had “very significantly reduced its operating costs”.
At about the same time, Cuadrilla’s companies changed their registered office address from headquarters in Bamber Bridge near Preston.
This building, on a business park, contains serviced offices, meeting rooms and a video conferencing studio. More than 30 companies are listed at the address.
Cuadrilla moved to Bamber Bridge in early 2016 from its former base at Lichfield in Staffordshire. At the time, the company said this would bring direct investment in Lancashire people and suppliers. The move was part of Cuadrilla’s “Lancashire First” strategy.
Today, the Environment Agency, announced Cuadrilla had surrendered a standard rules permit for the Preston New Road site.
The permission, granted in June 2018, allowed Cuadrilla to store and handle crude oil, gas condensate and mixtures of crude oil and water.
The Environment Agency said in its letter to Cuadrilla:
“We’re satisfied that you have taken necessary measures to:
– avoid a pollution risk from the operation of the regulated facility; and
– return the site to a satisfactory state, having regard to the state of the site before the facility was put into operation.
“We therefore accept the permit surrender, which takes effect from 27/11/2020.”
The decision does not remove the mining waste and radioactive substances permits for Preston New Road and multiple permit variations issued between 2017 and 2019 .