Cuadrilla owner takes $157m hit from fracking moratorium

The Australian mining group that owns Cuadrilla has cut the value of its UK shale gas assets by more than $157m following the reinstatement of the moratorium on fracking in England.

Cuadrilla’s Preston New Road mothballed shale gas site in Lancashire, 26 February 2022.
Photo: Maxine Gill

In an announcement today, AJ Lucas said:

“Given the challenges and other circumstances existing at this point in time, the Board has determined that a total impairment charge of $157.3m against the full carrying value of exploration assets should be recognised and disclosed separately as a significant item in the Company’s FY2023 half year financial statements.”

An asset is impaired when the current market value is less than the value listed on the balance sheet.

A J Lucas again criticised the decision by Rishi Sunak to reinstate the moratorium on fracking in England after it was lifted by the previous Liz Truss government.

The company said:

“We have demonstrated, at great expense, that clean natural gas can be recovered from the extensive shale deposits that exist in England”.

It described the decision to reinstate the moratorium as a “short sighted” and said it would “eventually need to be reconsidered” if the UK was to reduce costs of electricity and heating.

A J Lucas said it was evaluating the options to “protect the substantial investment we have made in the United Kingdom, in good faith, over many years”. The company would, it said “maintain an appropriately scaled and cost-effective presence there until these forecast developments occur.”

It added:

“The Company is also investigating the potential to generate organic cashflow from its existing assets in the UK which, if successful, would provide our UK operations with its own revenues.”

In September 2022, a week after the moratorium was temporarily lifted, A J Lucas raised $19.7m in a share placing to fund UK operations. The group said it issued more than 179m shares at a discounted price of $0.11 per share.

It had previously said it would need to raise money for exploration and development of UK shale gas licences because it could not use excess funds from its Australian drilling business to fund operations in the UK.

In August 2022, A J Lucas revealed it had spent £655,000 in the previous year on strategies to overturn the moratorium and on maintaining its UK licences.

32 replies »

  1. Fylde MP Mark Menzies has said:
    “Enough is enough, it is time for Cuadrilla to pack up and go.
    “It is complete nonsense for this pretence to continue any longer.
    “It is abundantly clear that fracking in Fylde is never going to happen.
    “What I want now is for that site to be cleared, for the wells to be capped and for it to be returned to countryside.
    “That needs to happen as soon as possible.

    “Cuadrilla’s time is up, that is the message I am sending and one which Lancashire County Council needs to send too.”

    • What a shambles the UK is stilling on potentially more shale gas than any other country in Europe but we are paying over the odds and until recently buying gas from Russia and the middle east , all of which have authoritarian governments and whose monitoring of gas spill at the well head is unknown and requires no approval from us, The silly cover statement by the Greens that fracking causes Earth tremors iis a false flag but it is believed by the inmature, mostly. So lets get the facts right , very minor earth tremors have been felt in the UK due to fracking, they caused no damage. The UK suffers about 300 natural Earth tremours per year, and very few people have noticed them. In America more than 1,000,000 wells have been fracked and worldwide 2,000.000 have been fracked and none of them have had major earthquakes attributed to them. The world suffers about 500,000 natural Earth Tremors and quakes per year . To bring a large tanker to the UK burns about 300 tons of oil per day, thus is a plus factor as far as global warming is concerned . Lastly there is no optimum temperature or air content in the history of the planet , it swings from from ice age to warming and back again . On present trend Eskimo’s and Laplanders and inhabitants of Northern Siberia can expect better winters and in the summers; their lands will become more produictive of crops, too . Yes some low laying coral atolls and costal areas will become submerged as seas rise . They always have been in the past, they always will be unless some way. such as a controllable reflective space curtain can be found to artificially control Earth’s energy imput from the sun. Meantime the real danger to the world and the most likely, is nuclear war , which would kill everyone including Earth’s creatures . If you want something to campaign about then how about international control of nuclear weapons ? !

        • Nope, Jack it has won it the economy it now has, even whilst they still are yet to commercialize most of the reserves and still to use much of the gas that is wasted. USA still had a peak gas price of $7, Europe $47. My 2 year old grandson can count to 10, not yet 47, but knows that 47 is much more than 7! You need to get some others to lend you their fingers and toes Jack. You also need to read the text a bit better-“major” was pretty clear to me. You also need to listen to some of the voices in USA who are started to question why they should accept $7 to help others out who are responsible for their own folly. Only being silenced by those who are making a “fortune”-according to YOU-out of producing and exporting! Meanwhile, Jack, you can just ignore the reality and froth about one global market.

          Must be a good place, Jack. Mr. Musk has just moved his business there! Any sign of him moving a business into UK? Nope. Any sign of car factories expanding in UK? Nope. Why? Energy prices too expensive! VW also recently commentated future investment in Europe unlikely against high energy prices, whilst Germany expanded an opencast coal mine for Greta to get a photo opportunity. Only way will be to apply subsidies to discount energy cost to business-which will come from the tax payer, already paying record taxes. Perhaps the answer is to have businesses develop who pay taxes in place of the individual tax payer, and might even pay some money to the individual tax payer to assist them with their cost of living? Whilst only yesterday, here in the UK Jack, an economist admitted that Net Zero was going to raise taxation, even more. Strange that Jack, all this commitment and no previous sign of that and still no attempt at a costing, with £200B for new nuclear and £50+B for the Grid peaking out like the tip of an iceberg within a fog.

          You are free to froth, Jack. Bubble bursting is not your strong point, with all those Chesapeake Energy shareholders still laughing their way to their banks.

          • Hold on MARTIN ,

            Strange , the USA had the highest FUEL PRICE in HISTORY last year .

            Another record achieved .

            Oh and by the way , regarding your $47 , please back up your figures with up to date numbers regarding the current EU gas price . THEY ARE NOW WHAT ?????????

            Do you know what they are ?????????

            • $7 highest ever, compared to $47 in Europe. Could have been lower if not flogging into the $47 market! What would the European price now be without the LNG from USA Jack? But, hold on Jack, according to your previous posts, there is only one world market so must be the same-except they are not as LNG is expensive to process and then ship and then process again.

              Debt Jack? Hmm, you mean like borrowing money at one rate and in most cases making more than the rate borrowed at and thus ending up with a profit. I believe Mr. Musk did it for around 15 years without the profit bit, but still ended up the world’s richest man!

              Riding on the back-of energy insecurity Jack, whatever the reason. Meanwhile, China economy very sluggish, so when that recovers the back will become steeper still. Ford UK just announced job cuts.

              • MARTIN there you go again with your legendary ” Collywaffle ” backed up with the usual sweet nothing.

                For the DOD readers and myself, please show us the current cost of GAS in the USA and EU . We’ll what is it ???????.

                NOOOOOOO MARTIN I’m not talking about shale companies borrowing money and paying it back . HAHA , far from it , that’s a good one mate .

                What I’m talking about is snake oil salesman selling a pipe dream and taking , Banks, Pension Funds and Private Investors for a right Royal Ride … Do you know where some of that unpaid debt ends up ???????

                Any idea ???????

                On the backs of the ordinary, good old American Tax Payer…


                A bit closer to home, take a look at IGAS . How are Investors doing there ???????? Take a look at the share chart yourself . To try and gauge the epic fall , it’s gone from the top of Mount Ever to lower than a Snakes Belly

                I suppose , like I have shown in my above posts . It’s another record breaker .

                • What a rant filled with nonsense, Jack. The only thing you demonstrate is the sheer inability of the anti to deal with reality, if anyone reads your posts on DoD and believes you are representative.

                  What on earth has IGAS to do with it? There is no fracking in UK, Jack-perhaps if there was they would be doing as well as Chesapeake Energy, and their share holders would be also! OMG, Jack appears to want IGAS to get fracking! Very considerate, Jack.

                  On the backs of US tax payers? You mean the ones who will benefit from Ford expanding in USA but cutting back in Europe? To be followed by many more. Maybe the ones, working their socks off to keep Europe supplied with gas, and trousering the profits? Maybe the ones who ignored Jack and invested in Chesapeake Energy, or the many more who then read the follow up, from same Jack, that it was easy to make a fortune for such companies. Yet, then finds that inconvenient, so is now trying to make out that the tax payer in USA and investors are being taken for a ride. You really couldn’t make it up-but Jack does.

                  By the way companies just need to service debt, they don’t need to pay it back if they service it.

                  Goodness, Jack, you have been posting here long enough and all you do is rant on incoherently about nonsense. Maybe you have a desire to discredit the antis? If so, keep it going, and I will keep you engaged to make sure you do so.

                • Reference the gas price, Jack, with USA about to become the world’s largest supplier of LNG, they are still increasing production, so prices in USA are around $3 in January and closer to $2.50 now. Dutch TTF is around $17. Very cold weather in USA recently, very mild in Europe, yet the issue is still showing.

                  You wanted to go there, Jack. Now, you should have enough fingers and toes to calculate that sort of difference.

                  Don’t blame me if you are unaware of the information, it is easy enough to find. I will not spoon feed you, you have a search engine, all you have to do is use it, if you are allowed.

          • Haha,

            Chesapeake Energy , only riding on the back of the Russia – Ukraine conflict .

            PRE-pandemic , PRE-Russian war had seen the USA with some of the BIGGEST FRACKING debts and bankruptcies in history..

            $300 BILLION.

            WOW , another record achieved.

            • There you go again MARTIN , rambling on with zero evidence to back up your comments…..

              BUT let’s for a moment run with your above numbers , did I say you are now correcting your information????????

              A BIG difference between $47 and $17 old chap

              • Ermm, and a big difference between $7 and $2.50, Jack.

                So, no I am not correcting my information, I am simply repeating what I had previously posted-that gas prices would drop in USA and Europe but a large difference would still remain, and gave the reasons for that. It has now happened. There was the peak, and now it has corrected to $2.50 V $17. LNG will always be much more expensive than local produced gas, Jack. Unfortunate truth you try and deny, but a truth that can easily be observed if anyone checks the processing required to form LNG and transport it and then turn it back to a gas.

                [Edited by mpderator]

            • MARTIN ,

              They say that the ones that really pull the strings of power in this world , are the Oil/Gas industry and the military..

              Hey Boy , this Russia – Ukraine War has been a golden ticket for the debt ridden US fracking industry…. Although let’s not forget Chesapeake Energy are still saddled with substantial amount of debt , they have able ckaw their way out of the gutter .

              Also we must remember , that that ALL the low hanging fruit , Oil/Gas sweet spots have all been picked , The costs for this industry will substantially increase as they in a frantic , ” Hamster on a wheel ” effect , will have to drill holes on an increasingly regular basis …. JUST TO STAND STILL .

              Also , due to climate change , the world is trying to move away from burning fossil fuels.

              The smart money will definitely NOT be moving in to Fracking.

              Just take a look at Chesapeake Energy , talk about debt.


              • More nonsense from you Jack. Grasping at straws but even the ones you grasp at don’t float.

                Chesapeake Energy bankruptcy was all about the 2020 year-the pandemic-which you claimed was normal. It was not. [Edited by moderator] C.E. have a debt to service, so do most large businesses. They are doing so very easily, thanks to a high demand for their product creating very decent prices. Yes, if another pandemic hits it will be an issue, as it will for most businesses around the world. Pubs are still shutting in their droves in my neck of the woods, as people became used to drinking at home during the pandemic and have yet to return to drinking out in the same numbers, and when they do drink out they want something special rather than the mundane.

                Low hanging fruit? Well, last time I looked there were around 5 billion barrels of shale oil extracted from the Permian against an estimated 75 billion barrels of recoverable oil-and then most of the gas was being flared off! There is now repeat fracking of the same wells, producing economies, and a nice export market for gas, so pipelines are being built. You sound like one of those OPEC guys who were stating that fracking could never succeed, Jack, and then threw $billions at trying to prove it by waging a price war that didn’t work and the whole world benefitted as a result in lower prices! Now, all they have left is? Jack and his straws!

                As for the smart money, I would take a look at the dividends being paid by the major oil and gas companies, Jack. Remember those that were going to suffer stranded assets? If anyone followed that nonsense, then they will be pretty disappointed. If they decided to plonk their money into Tesla and expected a nice fat income they will be doubly disappointed. I think you confuse smarting with smart, Jack.

                • AND MARTIN ,

                  Will you now stop using $47 as your bench mark on EU gas prices ???????

                  It’s a LONG WAY between $47 and $17 old chap/lady , whichever you really are .

                • What are my thoughts? Stop growing rice and fill in the swamps and use the gas from fracking that was previously considered a waste product. The last is starting to be done, the first two are not, and you really need to address that to others expanding their numbers who feel they need to eat and some others who feel the environment needs to be protected and the swamps maintained. Volcanoes are beyond human control however.

                  What is a benchmark Jack? The European price BEFORE the US started to increase shipments of LNG or after? Goodness, Jack you wish to prolong your embarrassment? There is no benchmark, the price is set by the age old supply/demand and then price equation. The US are doing a cracking/fracking good job currently to keep up with a demand in Europe which is now reducing-research “Spring” Jack. When China awakes from their Covid slumbers then watch the price, as demand goes up again. Enjoy the $17 whilst it lasts. In the USA they will be enjoying the $2.50. However, Jack you seem to have morphed away from your one world market theme, so progress, of a sort. Although, I suspect there will be a re-birth when it suits. Yes, it was you, or a previous version who tried to claim 2020 was a normal year, even after some of your buddies had rejoiced with glee during that period about the abnormal year and the impact upon oil and gas companies, when demand dropped through the floor and so did price! Then, more recently, you claimed prices would return to normal after the war in Ukraine! Really? So, Europe would suddenly lift the embargo?

                  Absolute classic Jack nonsense. Meanwhile Jack, here in the UK the grass is growing, my lawn was cut a couple of days ago, and I will feed it and weed it this pm, about three weeks earlier than some years. Hey ho, and my gas use will drop and if that happens for a lot of others then the $17 will be maintained. and when it comes to April and the tax payer energy support for tax payers is lifted or removed, then they may still have a respite-for a while.

                • Oh dear Jack, now the rich card! Private jets in USA? OMG, suddenly a private jet in USA is unusual!! Not for US companies I worked for Jack, and they were not involved in fossil fuels.

                  The fracking boom has also funded a lot of local businesses, local jobs where high school drop outs were earning $60k a year washing dishes, lorry drivers in excess of $100k a year and PTA’s were given funds to expand their support of their kids education-and sexual activity increased!

                  Also all published, just depends where you direct your search engine Jack. More of your straws-still drowning.

                • MARTIN ,

                  Again I ask,

                  From now, will you stop trying to HOODWINK the readers by trying to imply that EU gas is at $47 ??????..

                  In your own words , $17


                • MARTIN ,

                  YOU keep making comments, but back up what you say with NOTHING .

                  Let’s see you evidence

                  I’ve challenged you to provide evidence.

                  Or is this just more of your Collywaffle ??????

                • More and more desperation from you Jack. Now you are trying to claim $17 is the same as $2.50! Before you were claiming $7 was the same as $47. Tell you what Jack, if I am buying something I prefer to pay $7 instead of $47 AND $2.50 instead
                  of $17. Jack, there are nice tables available that will not only give you a monthly record of the prices at the different hubs, but also forecasts of what they may become and why. Since the summer of 2022 they look pretty accurate, and I suspect they will going forward as the producers have a great deal of control over such, particularly when demand is running hot and supply is constrained. Alternatively, Jack, there is:

                  Just more of your absolute desperate nonsense, that you have been so keen to continue with you have destroyed an argument previously made by? Jack! The mythical single world market for gas.

                  Yes, I have heard of washroom engineers flying in by private jet in the USA Jack, only to find the local washroom plumbers had plumbed the shower in incorrectly so additives that were supposed to be added to water for other purposes were included in the water for the showers, rather than be added post the shower offtake. The toilet was not an issue, as it was not a bidet, but stranded or damaged assets were encountered from taking a shower. Privately owned company so no shareholders involved. Happy customer, relieved staff.

                  2011 now! OMG Jack, you really do sound like the old OPEC record. Since shown to be nonsense, but still given a spin by Jack, who has also quoted recently “fortunes” are being made. Bless- so much cake and so much eating. Ponzi scheme to fortunes are being made. That is your trademark Jack, watch your posts long enough and you end up contradicting yourself. All you need to do Jack is check the hub gas prices for the reality and the forecasts, rather than flounder away grasping at those useless straws.

  2. Vernon, much as the rest of your post is coherent, pertinent and an accurate summary of all the issues, I do hold you to account for the use of an apostrophe in the plural of Eskimos. Perhaps you would find it easier grammatically to use the more commonly acceptable term these days Inuit for these wonderful people who indeed will be able to produce bounteously from their lands aubergines and coconuts once the ice thaws.

  3. You obviously posted too much common sense there Vernon and were welcomed with the usual anti defense-when unable to counter common sense just claim a better grasp of English! On social media-really?

    Strange though that when ice does melt in certain areas then seeds of plants are found under the ice. Additionally, Romans used to cultivate grapes in parts of Britain that have not been able to cultivate grapes for centuries since.

    10 billion people exhale a lot more than 1 or 2 billion, and consume a lot more-including rare earth minerals which are present in abundance where the Inuit currently live. Therefore, trash the people and trash the renewables? Perhaps the back yard of the consumers should be the back yard that produces for those consumers rather than the back yard of some having difficulty over the horizon? All sounds a bit colonial to me. What next, get them to produce sugar for us?

    • LOL! Two of a kind there. Vernon and Martin. Lost in their separate universe, divorced from reality, logic and facts.

      • Really Alan? So, $7 V $47 is not a fact/reality or $2.50 V $17 is not a fact/reality? Strange how your post of 15th is so different to your post of 12th, where you referred to Vernon’s post as “coherent, pertinent and an accurate summary”, but required Nell to be an Inuit rather than an Eskimo.

        Perhaps you could follow the coherent and pertinent bits? What has changed since the 12th?

        Now, if you want some more facts, take a look at the thread that Jack has attempted. First, he/they wanted to demonstrate US gas prices were at record levels. They were-at $7. He/they expected no one would be aware that when they were, European prices were at $47! That was inconvenient so fake news about a world gas price was attempted, even whilst the data/facts showed it was nonsense. Common sense shows it is nonsense-LNG is expensive compared to gas that does not require the process for transportation. Then same Jack(s) raised lots of question marks about current price, obviously not bothering to check first-to find $2.50 V $17! Then the reaction? Oh yes, not to post about the $7 V $47, which unfortunately was raised by the same Jack(s). All reality, logic and facts, in the public domain and can easily be accessed by any competent operator of a search engine and can read.

        There are either a number of “individuals” on this site who are not, and don’t bother to inform as they change shifts, or those who just want to contradict themselves. Both, IMHO, are divorced from reality, logic and facts. It certainly is a separate universe to the one I am part of. Provides some entertainment, in the Alice in Wonderland way. Perhaps instead of a like/dislike function there could be a fact/fairy story function?

        Mind you, it is common place. Spoke with a technician installing Smart meters this week. He informed me how frequently he had to explain to the customer they actually had to reduce some of their energy use for the Smart meter to reduce their energy bills!

  4. I can understand the difference between irony and contradiction, Alan. Not very intelligent to confuse the two.

    As an excuse, that last post of yours was in a class of its own. A smokescreen without any smoke or screen.

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