Cuadrilla completes first horizontal drill

A viable shale gas industry in Lancashire is one step closer after fracking firm Cuadrilla completed the UK's first ever horizontal shale gas well at its Preston New Road site.

CuadrillaThis first horizontal well, drilled through the Lower Bowland shale at a depth of approximately 2,700 metres below ground, extends laterally for some 800 metres through the shale gas reservoir.

Work will now begin on drilling the second horizontal shale gas exploration well, through the Upper Bowland shale, with planning consent granted to drill a total of up to four horizontal wells on the site.

Cuadrilla plans to apply, in the very near future, to the Secretary of State for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for the consent to fracture this first horizontal well

The company intends to be in a position to hydraulically fracture both horizontal wells one and two in in the third quarter of this year.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: “Our completion of the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gas well is a major milestone towards getting Lancashire gas flowing into Lancashire homes as we lead the way on UK exploration.

"From the data we have amassed so far we are optimistic that, after fracturing the shale rock, natural gas will flow into this horizontal well in commercially viable quantities demonstrating that the UK’s huge shale gas resources can be safely produced and contribute to improving the UK’s energy security.” Following hydraulic fracturing of the first two horizontal wells in Q3 Cuadrilla will run an initial flow test of both wells for approximately six months with plans to then eventually connect those wells to the local gas grid network in 2019.