Fracking is back

Shale gas exploration operator Cuadrilla confirmed it has resumed hydraulic fracturing operations at its flagship Lancashire site in Preston New Road near Blackpool. 

The company announced that it would return to operations last month and has secured all the required permits and permissions to fracture up to 45 stages on its second horizontal well at the site. 

It says work will be completed by the end of November and followed by flow testing of the well, with gas flow results expected early in 2020.

Laura Hughes, projects and operations director at Cuadrilla, said: “I am delighted to have resumed fracturing our second horizontal well and we look forward to sharing the results once flow testing is completed. 

“As we have often said Preston New Road is one of the most monitored oil and gas sites anywhere in the world.

“We have proven it is a well-run, entirely safe and environmentally responsible operation. We also know there is a reservoir of recoverable high-quality natural gas beneath our feet that the UK needs if we are to reach Net Zero by 2050. 

Preston New Road is one of the most monitored oil and gas sites anywhere in the world.

“The UK onshore shale exploration industry as a whole remains excited about the prospect of the Bowland Shale formation – estimated by the British Geologic Survey to contain some 1,300 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.”

She confirmed that hydraulic fracturing would operate in line with the seismic traffic light system regulated by the Oil and Gas Authority. 

She added: “We have unique experience and expertise of hydraulic fracturing in the UK from operations on our first well at Preston New Road.

“Whilst there may well be low levels of induced seismicity, local people should be reassured that any resulting ground motion will be far below anything that could cause harm or damage and, indeed, is likely to be much less than caused daily by other industries such as quarrying or construction or even heavy goods vehicles travelling on our roads.”

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