Cuadrilla gets go-ahead for second exploration well

Fracking firm Cuadrilla has been granted permission to operate a second horizontal shale exploration well at its Preston New Road site.

Cuadrilla fracking Preston New Road

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) approved hydraulic fracturing for the site, which is expected to begin within the next few weeks as the required planning and permits had already been secured.

Consent was granted for the first horizontal well in July.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said: "The UK’s need for a new and reliable source of natural gas, the cleanest fossil fuel, is underlined by a new report suggesting the UK is going to have to rely on more coal to generate electricity.

"That would be a massive backwards step in reducing carbon emissions, as would continuing to import gas over long distances by pipe and ship. We are very proud to be the first operator in the UK to make significant headway in shale gas exploration."

The first horizontal shale well was completed by Cuadrilla in April 2018 through the Lower Bowland shale rock at approximately 2,300m below surface and extends laterally for some 800m.

The second horizontal shale gas well was completed in July 2018 and was drilled through the Upper Bowland shale at an approximate depth of 2,100m below the surface, extending laterally for some 750 metres through the shale. These are the first two horizontal shale exploration wells to be drilled onshore in the UK. Following hydraulic fracturing of these first two horizontal wells Cuadrilla will run an initial flow test of the gas produced from both wells for approximately six months.