Cuadrilla Halts Well in Southern England on Anti-Shale Protests

Cuadrilla Resources Ltd., a U.K. oil and gas explorer, suspended drilling at Balcombe in southern England in the face of an anti-shale protest camp.

“After taking advice from Sussex Police, Cuadrilla is temporarily scaling back drilling operations ahead of the event,” the Lichfield, England-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. “We plan to resume full operations as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Campaign group No Dash for Gas have threatened direct action during a protest campaign planned from today until Aug. 21, Cuadrilla said.

Local residents and environmental campaigners have opposed drilling plans by Cuadrilla, citing concerns that the operation will contaminate water, cause noise and increase traffic. In July, protesters blocked the site, forcing Cuadrilla to delay the start of exploratory work.

The company, backed by Riverstone Holdings LLC and AJ Lucas Group Ltd. (AJL), plans a conventional oil well at Balcombe, it said. No hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, will take place at this stage, it has said. Any plans for such a process, which blasts sand, water and chemicals at high pressure into underground rock to release fuel, will be subject to a rigorous regulatory permitting process, it said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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