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Shale Gas Firm Cuadrilla Resumes Fracking In The UK

Cuadrilla has resumed fracking at a second well at its hydraulic fracturing site in northwest England after it secured all permits to do so, the UK shale gas group said on Thursday, after fracking at a first well had to be stopped several times over the past year due to minor seismic events.

Earlier this month, the UK’s regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), agreed Cuadrilla’s fracking plan for the second well at the Preston New Road site in Lancashire. The authority approved a well completion proposal for the second well, as well as a three-year extended well test which includes a one-year consent for gas flaring.

Cuadrilla plans to complete the work at the well by the end of November this year and flow test the well afterwards, with results expected early next year.  

Cuadrilla resumes its fracking operations in Lancashire amid opposition from local residents, while the company—as well as the British government—believe that shale gas could reduce the UK’s gas import dependence and contribute to its net zero emissions target by 2050.

Cuadrilla has stopped fracking at its first well multiple times over the past year, because under UK regulations, in case of micro seismic events of 0.50 on the Richter scale or higher, fracking must temporarily be halted and pressure in the well reduced.

“As we have often said Preston New Road is one of the most monitored oil and gas sites anywhere in the world. We have proven it is a well-run, entirely safe and environmentally responsible operation. We also know there is a reservoir of recoverable high quality natural gas beneath our feet that the UK needs if we are to reach Net Zero by 2050,” Laura Hughes, Projects and Operations Director at Cuadrilla, said today.

A spokesperson for the UK’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) commented today on the resumption of fracking and on the government’s position on fracking, saying:

“Shale gas could be an important new domestic energy source reducing the level of gas imports while delivering broad economic benefits, including through the creation of well-paid, quality jobs. It could also support our transition to net zero emissions by 2050.”  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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