Cuadrilla wins approval to frac UK wells

Cuadrilla Resources Ltd., Preston, UK, has received approval of the UK secretary of state for communities and local government to hydraulically fracture as many as four wells at a Bowland basin shale prospect in Northwest England.

The approval is for a Preston New Road location in the company’s Lancashire area, which it estimates holds 200 tcf of natural gas in place in shale (OGJ Online, Sept. 22, 2011).

Cuadrilla has identified two Preston New Road locations and hopes to drill four exploration wells at each.

It has identified seven other prospect sites in the Lancashire area.

The approval overturned Lancashire County Council rejection of the Cuadrilla application last year.

Hydraulic fracturing has met strong opposition from environmental and other groups in the UK. Cuadrilla applied to frac wells at Preston New Road and another Lancashire site, Roseacre Wood, more than 2 years ago.

The secretary of state for communities deferred action on the Roseacre Wood application. At Roseacre Wood, too, Cuadrilla plans to drill four exploration wells each from two locations.

Earlier this year, Third Energy, London, received approval to frac its KM8 well, drilled in 2013 in Kirby Misperton natural gas field in North Yorkshire County, to test Carboniferous Bowland interbedded shale and sandstone.

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