Celtique to Delay Shale Drilling in South England to Summer 2015

Celtique Energie Ltd., a shale explorer, delayed drilling at a well in southern England by three to six months while it gets planning permission.

The new target to start work at the Fernhurst site is summer 2015, the London-based company said today in an emailed response to questions. Celtique, whose partner in southern England licenses is Magellan Petroleum Corp. of the U.S., had planned to start drilling in the fourth quarter of this year at the earliest, it said.

A planning application to the South Downs National Park Authority had to be updated to remove an option for a horizontal well, according to Celtique. The well was for “data acquisition purposes and did not involve the use of hydraulic fracturing,” the company said. A decision will be made in July.

Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping water, sand and chemicals at high pressure into rock to release gas or oil from underground rock. The technique has been criticized for causing tremors and polluting groundwater.

Celtique is backed by U.S. private-equity firm Avista Capital Partners LP, according to its website.

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