Cuadrilla confirms that it plans to go ahead tomorrow (13 October) with the start of hydraulic fracturing operations at its Preston New Road shale gas exploration site in Lancashire. At the High Court in London today (12 October) Mr Justice Supperstone dismissed a last minute request for an interim injunction to prevent this from happening, and also dismissed a Judicial Review case against Lancashire County Council’s (LCC) emergency response planning and procedures for the Preston New Road site. Mr Justice Supperstone concluded that there was no evidence to support the contention that LCC had breached any of the relevant duties concerning emergency planning.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said:
“We are delighted to be starting our hydraulic fracturing operations as planned. We are now commencing the final operational phase to evaluate the commercial potential for a new source of indigenous natural gas in Lancashire. If commercially recoverable this will displace costly imported gas, with lower emissions, significant economic benefit and better security of energy supply for the UK.”
The hydraulic fracturing process will take approximately three months to complete for both horizontal exploration wells. Cuadrilla will then test the flow of natural gas from those two wells with initial results expected in the New Year.