July 30, 2019


Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan today tackled Jeremy Corbyn’s demand to ban fracking and called on the Labour Party to abandon its support for importing gas and exporting UK jobs and support instead a plan to eliminate gas imports into the UK by 2050.

Francis issued an open invitation to Mr Corbyn to visit the UK’s only operational shale exploration site, operated by Cuadrilla in Preston New Road, Lancashire, and urged him to engage with the local workforce and not to confine his listening to protestors at the gate.

“I am very disappointed that Labour appear to favour continued and increasing levels of gas imports by ship from the Middle East, Africa or the United States or by pipeline from Russia rather than developing a well-regulated job creating UK shale gas industry,” Francis said.

“The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in its May 2019 report clearly forecast a very significant UK gas demand out to 2050 and beyond – approximately 70 per cent of 2019 gas demand still existing in the year 2050. Under the CCC’s recommended pathway to net zero CO2 this gas would be used as both a feedstock for making hydrogen and a backup supply for generating electricity. Carbon Capture and Storage would accompany gas usage to ensure net zero CO2 emissions.

“The Labour Party has made it very clear that it opposes UK shale as a supply source for our required natural gas, but appears to have no policy or plan for where the UK’s gas supply should instead come from. We can only assume that it favours continued and increasing long distance gas imports”.

“We are strongly opposed to exporting and in effect increasing our CO2 emissions by importing natural gas from further and further afield. Unless it has a better pathway to reach net zero CO2 than the Committee on Climate Change we call on the Labour Party to support Cuadrilla in setting a target for net zero imports of natural gas by 2050. By this date UK gas demand should be entirely met by well run, well regulated, job creating UK supply sources including shale gas. Exporting UK emissions and UK jobs should not be a Labour Party policy.”

In February, Cuadrilla announced results from flow-testing of the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gas exploration well at its exploration site in Preston New Road, near Blackpool, which confirmed a high quality natural gas resource in the Bowland Shale, previously estimated at around 1,300 tcf by the British Geological Survey.

The initial exploration programme also confirmed that the Bowland Shale formation fractures in a way that is typical of an excellent shale gas reservoir. A complex fracture network was generated in the shale and sand injected into the fractures stayed in place during flow back.

Cuadrilla recently remobilised equipment and confirmed that it will return to hydraulic fracturing and flow testing of natural gas in the third quarter of 2019. The upcoming work programme will be the latest step in demonstrating the huge commercial opportunity of UK shale, including the potential for natural gas from shale to act as a domestic feedstock for hydrogen production.

The work programme builds on Cuadrilla’s unique experience and expertise as the leading onshore shale exploration operator in the UK. The new hydraulic fracture plan will operate in line with the existing traffic light system but one of the key differences will be a more viscous fracturing fluid which is expected to improve operational performance.

SCHEDULE: Cuadrilla will not be releasing the exact date of hydraulic fracturing operations in advance to ensure the programme is facilitated in a safe and managed environment.

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