Lancashire-headquartered Cuadrilla has received hydraulic fracturing consent from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) for its second horizontal shale exploration well at its Preston New Road site in Lancashire.
Consent was granted for the first horizontal well in July this year, Cuadrilla said in its statement, adding that planning and permits required for both wells are already secured.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said, “We are currently completing works on site in readiness to start hydraulically fracturing both wells in the next few weeks.”
The UK’s need for a new source of natural gas is underlined by a new report suggesting the UK is going to have to rely on more coal to generate electricity. That would be a massive backwards step in reducing carbon emissions, as would continuing to import gas over long distances by pipe and ship, according to Egan.
The first horizontal shale well was completed by Cuadrilla in April 2018 through the Lower Bowland shale rock at approximately 2,300 meters below the surface and extends laterally for some 800 meters.
The second horizontal shale gas well was completed in July 2018 and was drilled through the Upper Bowland shale at an approximate depth of 2,100 meters below the surface, extending laterally for some 750 meters through the shale.
These are the first two horizontal shale exploration wells to be drilled onshore in the UK.
Following hydraulic fracturing of these first two horizontal wells, Cuadrilla will run an initial flow test of the gas produced from both wells for approximately six months.