Leading onshore shale exploration operator Cuadrilla in the present day confirmed that it’s going to return to hydraulic fracturing and circulation testing of pure gasoline at its flagship Lancashire website in Preston New Road, close to Blackpool.
The firm, which is predicated simply exterior Preston, will remobilise hydraulic fracturing and testing gear within the third quarter of 2019 and, topic to all required regulatory approvals, full the work programme by the top of November this yr.
Francis Egan, Chief Executive Officer, stated that the Cuadrilla group and the UK onshore shale exploration business as an entire remained excited in regards to the prospect of the Bowland Shale formation – estimated by the British Geological Survey to comprise round 1,300 trillion cubic ft of pure gasoline.
The upcoming work programme at Preston New Road is the newest step in demonstrating the large business alternative of pure gasoline from UK shale. It may even make sure that extra knowledge is offered to Government and Regulators to justify an knowledgeable technical evaluate of the present exceedingly low restrict on induced seismicity, permitting for this to be introduced into line with different UK industries corresponding to quarrying, building and geothermal.
Francis defined: “We look ahead to returning to operations at Preston New Road which is able to additional show the circulation of top of the range pure gasoline from the Bowland Shale. Work up to now on what might be essentially the most extremely monitored onshore oil and gasoline website on this planet has proved that that is a wholly protected, properly run and well-regulated operation – and there’s no doubt that the chance for the UK is big.
“This work programme builds on Cuadrilla’s distinctive expertise and experience because the main onshore shale exploration operator within the UK. We have learnt rather a lot throughout the hydraulic fracture programme for the PNR-1z horizontal in 2018 and this experience varieties the idea for the brand new hydraulic fracture plan for our second horizontal properly, PNR2. The new hydraulic fracture plan will function in keeping with the prevailing site visitors gentle system for induced seismicity. However one of many key variations can be a extra viscous fracturing fluid which has been reviewed and accredited by the Environment Agency as non-hazardous to floor water and which we count on will enhance operational efficiency below the uniquely difficult micro-seismic rules.”
Francis added: “It is not any secret that now we have requested for an knowledgeable technical evaluate of the uniquely low micro-seismic working restrict of simply zero.5ML on the Richter scale. It stays the case that we’re the one UK Operator at the moment capable of transfer ahead and supply extra knowledge to help an knowledgeable evaluate of this threshold – and we intend to take action. I’m trying ahead to demonstrating over coming months that this stays a wholly protected and vastly thrilling alternative for the UK.”
Francis defined: “We are additionally working to display that pure gasoline produced from UK shale is prone to be essentially the most environmentally smart and economically helpful long run feedstock for hydrogen technology, important if the UK is to hit internet zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
In February, Cuadrilla introduced outcomes from flow-testing of the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gasoline exploration properly which confirmed a reservoir of recoverable top quality pure gasoline.
The preliminary exploration programme additionally confirmed that the Bowland Shale formation fractures in a method that’s typical of a superb shale gasoline reservoir. A fancy fracture community was generated within the shale and sand injected into the fractures stayed in place throughout circulation again.
(Source and picture: Cuadrilla/Preston New Road drilling website)


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