Cuadrilla to Seek ‘Milestone’ U.K. Shale-Gas Approval This Month

Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. will seek planning approval this month for a shale-gas exploration well in northern England, a “milestone” in its efforts to bring the technology to the U.K.

The explorer will apply to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of natural gas at as many as four exploration wells at its Preston New Road site, with a decision by Lancashire County Council expected within 16 weeks, the Lichfield, U.K.-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. It will apply a few weeks later for its Roseacre Wood site, the company said.

The Bowland shale basin may hold as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas, the British Geological Survey says. That’s enough to meet demand for almost 50 years at an extraction rate similar to U.S. fields, according to Bloomberg calculations.

“This application could be a really important milestone for Lancashire and the U.K.,” Chief Executive Officer Francis Egan said.

The bid to develop fracking projects that release gas by blasting sand, water and chemicals at high pressure underground has raised concerns over polluted water supplies, earthquakes and greenhouse gas emissions. Tremors triggered by a Cuadrilla well in 2011 led to an 18-month moratorium on the practice.

The company is backed by U.S. private-equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net Tony Barrett, Ana Monteiro

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.