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Cuadrilla has submitted an application to the Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy for the consent to hydraulically fracture the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gas well which was completed in April 2018 at its Preston New Road exploration site, Lancashire. The company has all the other necessary permits and planning consents required for hydraulic fracturing.

The first horizontal well, drilled through the Lower Bowland shale at a depth of approximately 2,700 metres below ground, extends laterally for some 800 metres through the shale gas reservoir. The drilling of the second horizontal shale gas exploration well, through the Upper Bowland shale, is nearing completion. An application for hydraulic fracturing consent will then be submitted for the second well. Based on its current operations schedule Cuadrilla plans to be in a position to hydraulically fracture both horizontal wells one and two over the course of the second half of 2018.

Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla, said:

“Following the Government’s very recent announcement which underlined the national importance of shale gas we are very pleased to submit our application for hydraulic fracturing consent to the Secretary of State. We are now very close to demonstrating that Lancashire shale gas can be commercially developed in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. We look forward to receiving consent to progress from the Secretary of State at the earliest opportunity.”

Following hydraulic fracturing of the first two horizontal wells Cuadrilla will run an initial flow test of both wells for approximately six months with plans to then eventually connect those wells to the local gas grid network in 2019.

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