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Cuadrilla Plans to Frack for Shale Gas at Two New U.K. Sites

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. plans to drill for shale gas at two new exploration sites in northern England’s Bowland basin using the fracking technique.

Cuadrilla, backed by private-equity firm Riverstone Holdings LLC, will apply for planning permission to drill, hydraulically fracture and flow-test as many as four wells at each site, the Lichfield, England-based explorer said today on its website. The sites are at Roseacre Wood and Preston New Road in Lancashire.

Tremors at a Cuadrilla shale well in Lancashire in 2011 led to an 18-month moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. It remains the only site where fracking has been carried out in the U.K. Last year, protests halted drilling at Cuadrilla’s conventional oil well site in Balcombe in the country’s south.

Centrica Plc, the largest energy supplier to U.K. households, bought a 25 percent stake in the Bowland acreage in June from Cuadrilla and its partners.

The basin, which stretches from the east to the northwest, may hold as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas, according to the British Geological Survey. That could meet demand for half a century at an extraction rate of just 10 percent, similar to fields in the U.S.

Environmental groups such as Greenpeace are concerned that fracking, which pumps water, sand and chemicals at high pressure underground to release fuel, can contaminate area waters and set off earthquakes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at

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