Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s Chief Executive, said:
“Ongoing technical analysis of the data we have gathered from our exploration of the Bowland Basin Shale in Lancashire has confirmed our assessment that the 1200 km2 licence area holds at least 200 trillion cubic feet of gas. An important next milestone for the exploration programme is to reach an estimate of what percentage of this very large quantity of natural gas in the ground could be recovered for use in generating electricity and heating our homes and workplaces.
“As we continue our exploration programme Cuadrilla proposes to broaden and deepen the scope of both community consultation and environment risk assessment by completing a full Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for each exploration well site where we seek planning consent for drilling, hydraulic fracturing and flow testing. We recognise that within the complex UK regulatory framework governing planning this process can prove lengthy but we are determined to spare no effort in meeting our exploration targets in an environmentally and socially sustainable manner.
“At our existing exploration well site at Anna’s Road, where the application to drill has been under consideration by Lancashire County Council, we will modify the application to include an EIA covering the proposed drilling, hydraulic fracturing and flow testing programme and submit this later in the year. Subject to all necessary approvals, we intend returning to the site and completing work in 2014.
“In addition, given the scale of the natural gas resource we have discovered and the potential it has to produce, Cuadrilla proposes to strengthen its exploration programme by adding a number of additional temporary exploration sites during 2013 and 2014 to assess gas flow rates. We will discuss each proposal in detail with local communities and other stakeholders.
“Cuadrilla’s schedule underlines our firm commitment to completing the exploration programme of this major natural gas discovery in a safe, responsible and timely manner.”