Cuadrilla owner raises new funds for UK fracking

The Australian owner of shale gas company Cuadrilla has raised $19.7m (£11.79m) in a share placing.

Cuadrilla’s mothballed Preston New Road site, 22 February 2022. Photo: Maxine Gill

The mining group, A J Lucas, said in a statement:

“Proceeds raised from the placement may be used for funding UK operations to respond to recent regulatory changes, expenditure on new and existing plant and equipment (as required and/or necessary) and for working capital.”

The group issued more than 179 million shares at a discounted price of $0.11 per share.

The placing comes a week after the formal lifting of the moratorium on fracking in England.

Last month, A J Lucas revealed that it spent about £655,000 in 2021 on strategies to overturn the moratorium and on maintenance of its UK licences. The company said it had escalated its campaign in the past year to change the shale gas regulations.

In annual accounts, the group suggested that it would need to raise money for exploration and development of UK shale gas licences. It said it was unable to use excess funds from its Australian drilling business to fund operations in the UK.

Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road has been largely mothballed since August 2019.

Fracking was suspended at the site after it caused a 2.9ML earthquake . This was felt across the region. Nearly 200 people reported to the British Geological Survey that the earthquake had damaged property.

A J Lucas owns 96% of Cuadrilla. 65% of A J Lucas is owned by Kerogen Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity fund manager.

22 replies »

  1. Specific ministerial assurances must have have been given to AJL/Cuadrilla that permission is granted to return to ‘activity’ @ PNR/Litte Plumpton. This may well by-pass local scrutiny under the guise of crucial national infrastructure, with an induced earthquake traffic-light limit increased from 0.5 to 2.5 ML. So unfortunate Fylde residents must now be prepared for any stochastic fracking-induced earthquake of 4.0 ML about three days later.

    • To increase the TLS limit to 2.5ML would be madness. The seismic event which caused the 2011 earthquake at Preese Hall was less strong than that limit, at 2.3ML, yet it was still powerful enough to be felt miles away and more importantly, it compromised the well, something Cuadrilla neglected to inform the regulators of for 6 months.

  2. Maybe, Frank, but maybe not. I feel this comes within the speculation category especially as Liz has re-iterated her local support mantra today.
    Good job there is allowance in UK for a second opinion. Your ability to predict earthquakes seems to have eluded a lot of geologists who have stated they have difficulty even speculating about that matter.

    • Martin, Frank must have a crystal ball on that dr’s desk of his, prediction is a dangerous foresight… maybe well researched evaluation like would be done on a Phd, as seismic is pronounced!
      Seismic is evaluated as the best place to drill! A dr practice only once they are certified!

      • ‘Eli-Goth’
        Professor Underhill:
        ” …in Lancashire, sub-seismic faults which cannot be seen on the data, such as those that led to the earthquakes leading to drilling’s halt 2019, should also be anticipated.”

    • Ms Truss may have reiterated her local support, but she seems woefully unaware of how that would be determined. It was painful to listen to her squirming when confronted by Graham Liver on BBC Radio Lancashire with questions on fracking at PNR where she clearly demonstrated that she had absolutely no idea of what was involved or even where PNR was. Rees Mogg appears to be veering towards making fracking an NSIP which would by-pass public opinion altogether and leave him, an self confessed climate change denier with financial interests in the fossil fuel industry, to make planning decisions on fracking. His proposal that fracking companies themselves would be responsible for determining public support by employing financial incentives is unbelievable. Since when did it become legal in this country to allow private companies to over ride local authorities and decide public policy themselves by offering individuals cash for votes?

  3. They say , there’s one born every minute.

    To raise £11.79m is quite astonishing . FAGIN would bow down at the feet of the new master .

    I can see the policy of NO GAS , just keeping the GRAVY TRAIN rolling for the top players at Cuadrilla , is still going full steam ahead .

    Is Cuadrilla spinning the FAKE line of untold , easy to get shale riches in the UK . Where residents lovingly sprinkle scented Rose petals at the feet of the CEO and at the wheels of toxic waste trucks. 🤣🤣🤣 . It must be quite some sales pitch their putting forward to get that type of investment .

    Just taking a lovingly trip down memory lane , do you remember the time Cuadrilla used a portable GAS BOTTLE to flare their stack , that was a classic 🤣🙃🤣 . Careful , well positioned photography , must of had greedy investors frantically writing out cheques .

    Such other minor , insignificant details like , NO social license, a hostile , well organized ANTI Fracking local residents group and earthquakes are probably not mentioned in their current , glossy Pro Fracking investment brochures.

    Who can honestly blame Cuadrilla for ” milking ” investors who are happy to make their money at the expense UK citizens health ??????

  4. But Martin, we already have lived experience of this since 2012. In the faulted geology of the Fylde, fracking induced earth-quakes may be predicted, even more so, when the traffic-light threshold will be raised. The strength & intensity of the induced earthquakes is stochastic. Yes, you are correct, perhaps we may experience an induced earthquake greater than 4.0ML ?

  5. Well Frank, I am sure you know better than the geologists, in your own mind.

    However, I am continually being told what experts think, and in this regard, you are not one. Neither am I.

    Around all the hysteria, I would be genuinely surprised if Cuadrilla were the front runner if and when another attempt was made in the UK. Even though Jack, being the expert he is, has suggested that investors in Cuadrilla will make money!

    But what I am interested in is the Energy Charter Treaty. Looking at the recent findings and damages in favour of Rockhopper, then how on earth does any company that has been sold a license in UK end up with a stranded asset? Based upon that experience it would appear that having a license prevented may be a very lucrative business. After a very basic bit of checking by myself, it looks as if UK has signed up to it, and even if UK withdrew there is a pretty long sunset clause. Maybe I have missed a critical difference between Italy and UK, but I am sure there might be someone to explain that if I have.

    • Not my opinion Martin, but in the words of experts:
      ”The faults that induced the largest seismic events in the Preston New Road site, of c. 200 m in length for seismic events of magnitudes below 3.0 (as imaged with a multicomponent, downhole microseismic monitoring array deployed during the hydraulic-fracturing stimulations), could NOT be identified in the 3D seismic survey, which only mapped fault planes larger than 400 m in length.”

    • MARTIN,

      That’s right , keep spinning the old party PRO Fracking line .

      THIS TIME NEXT YEAR WE’LL BE MILLIONAIRES ( fools and horses )

      When in fact UK shale investors have lost the shirt of their backs , but shhhhhhhh we’ll keep that one to ourselves.

      MARTIN , you keep on championing the UK shale industry , those warm , lovingly embraces and pats on the back from CEO’s and Directors of these companies , must be very satisfying , heart warming and addictive ….. I bet your Christmas diary is already fully booked with party invitations .

      So while investors in UK shale , without any care or consideration of the damage Fracking will inflict on local communities , continue to blindly sink their hard earned cash in to a bottomless pit , in order to prop up the lavish lifestyles of those at the top of this White Elephant industry . There is a POETIC JUSTICE.

      For those worried sick about how Fracking will have an adverse effect on their health , the environment, climate change and the plumitting value of their homes ……. It will , in a very small way offer some breadcrumbs of amusement and satisfaction , the continual misery of the shale investor .

  6. Ahh, a new song sheet has been issued!

    I recall the recent one around Chesapeake Energy. First, it attempted to demonstrate how fracking was a dead parrot financially, then it was dead from some mystery disease where everything was normal for such parrots in 2020, then more recently that any old parrot could make a fortune from their toenail clippings.

    It would all be so confusing for investors if they took notice of such a wide spread of parroted squawking, but I suspect they do not. Blindly sinking? Well, Jack, if you looked at some of the market commentary around the very large shareprice increases for some companies that own licenses where fracking could take place in UK, they would appear to have had some very good guide dogs to help them recently. Maybe they just took their profits and plonked them into AJL and now enjoying a free ride? Not sure that would be hard earned, but some would feel it was. 500% I saw mentioned.

    UK shale investors? What a strange concept. I think you might find Jack that those who invest in UK shale come from all over the world, and many will also be investors in shale in USA. So, rather than losing any shirts they could just be losing Capital Gains tax! Meanwhile, how many Tesla shareholders have sued for lost shirts? Quite a few.

    However, Jack, as you have obviously run out of any semblance of substance and are already thinking of Christmas, do remember Santa only visits the good boys and girls. Sorry, but those without any address for him/her to track down will certainly be disappointed.

    • MARTIN ,

      The USA shale industry has had more bankruptcies , than you can ” shake a stick at ”

      AND if in some laughter promoting cause , you are talking about the likes of IGAS in the UK , well thank you for that .

      Their share price has tanked from 11, 543.25 to a paltry 55.00 PENCE ………. That’s a drop of 11,488.00…..

      YES I did say a DROP of Eleven Thousand, Four Hundred and Eighty Eight……. ENDLESS diluting of the share price has done that .

      It’s all there if you want to look , just Google IGAS SHARE PRICE and clock on the top right hand side of the graph where it says ” Max ” and then click on ” Max ” from the drop down menu

  7. Same nonsense about share prices.

    Ermm, Jack, here in the West shares are traded constantly, so it all depends upon when someone buys and when they sell.

    Max has very little to do with investors profits, especially for shares that are traded constantly because of their volatility. Quite a few trading Angus today could have made 10% in a few minutes, even if the share price closes down for the day. Don’t suspect any would have looked at Max. They were probably more interested in maxing their bubbly for the weekend. Reality again, Jack. Sorry to drag you back into the real world.

    No longer making a “fortune” in USA then Jack? That person must have been so out of touch! What was the “name” of the individual? Oh yes, I recall. JACK.
    $300B in 2020? That “normal” year again? Peanuts, Jack. Just look at them now. That Trojan Horse is taking over again, Jack. Heaven to Betsy, looks as if Jack is suggesting now is the time to be fracking!

    • MARTIN ,

      Some ” Nonsense ” you say , it’s what you call evidence.

      Although you wouldn’t know about that , as all you ever give is an OPINION , backed up with the usual sweet NOTHING.

      • Ahh, Jack, but I don’t lie when I know nothing about a situation, to pretend I do.

        Yes, Jack a lie is when you state something that is your OPINION which is fabricated and based on no evidence. Just turned my heat pump off for the rest of today, Jack. Enjoyed my hot bath as well, thanks to gas. If I wanted to be Green and put the two together it would cost me £20k. No way.

        With respect to share trading, you obviously have a different system. Sorry, I can’t provide evidence to incorporate that and Mad Max, but anyone who may be inclined to invest in AJL or similar will quite understand how it works. For you, blindly sinking does seem to be your routine.

        • MARTIN

          We’re all 🤣🤣

          My ” OPINION ” on whether you have a Heat Pump or NOT …. Is that, my ” OPINION ”

          Whereas when it comes to far more SERIOUS matters like the health and safety of the British public , I supply FACTS . I repeat FACTS , to support my comments.

          Whereas you MARTIN only ever supply an ” OPINION ” when trying to convince the British public that the PROVEN , highly toxic Fracking industry will be of some benefit to them …….. When in reality , what it will do is greatly increases their chances of getting CANCER and other life changing illnesses , a FACT you NEVER mention to them .

          Why is that MARTIN ???????

          In fact MARTIN , your usual default position is to PRETEND you’ve not seen the evidence that JACK puts forward , like this .

          FRACKING tied to CANCER-causing chemicals

          The readers would like to know your thoughts on the above.

          • MARTIN ,

            IF YOU are going to try and push forward to the British public , the benefits of Fracking.

            ( 1 ) You must supply credible evidence to support your OPINIONS .

            ( 2 ) You must be willing to debate and address the genuine concerns the public have about this industry.

            JACK has very valid concerns , therefore I would like to ask you about this.

            The ” link ” below, highlights some of the TOXIC dangers of Fracking . Can you help calm my fears and that of the readers , with some reassurance that Fracking is safe , please ??????

            We will of course also like to see evidence to support any comments you make , thank you .


          • [Edited by moderator]

            Fracking for gas in UK? Have to do it to establish the facts. Millions of wells have been fracked safely around the world. Many people rely upon them to provide them with a safe and affordable life. But that is elsewhere in the world. Some there are unhappy they are paying $7 per MMBtu, many others are very happy they are not paying $47 per MMBtu.

            If one wants to establish whether fracking can be done safely in UK then more fracking needs to be done to establish a representative sample. Based upon a small sample on shore in UK then geothermal would now be dead in the water, having produced seismic events.

            I would suggest you look again at this platform, Jack. With no disrespect to Ruth, it does not represent the british public.

            • MARTIN ,

              We DON’T have to do Fracking in the UK to establish the facts ……

              We only need to learn from our friends in the USA , who are seeing first hand the devastating social , health and environmental impacts of Fracking.

              FRACKING is FRACKING no master where you do it ……. What we must though take in to account , is we are a densely populated island , so the health and environmental impacts may be far worse .

              MARTIN , what will the extra financial burden be on our NHS as a result of an increase in Fracking related illnesses ???????

              Talking about the NHS , what about this Fracking WARNING from the ” Alliance of NURSES ” ??????


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