“Today’s news is a turning point for the country’s energy future. Shale gas has the potential to create jobs, generate tax revenues, reduce our reliance on imported gas, and improve our balance of payments,” said Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla Resources. “Our exploration has shown that under Lancashire there is a belt of gas-filled shale over one mile thick. Today’s decision will allow continued exploration and testing of the UK’s very significant shale resources in a way that fulfils the highest environmental and community standards.”
Cuadrilla is pleased that DECC has recognized the major improvements it has made. The company is ready to move ahead with its plans, involving the hydraulic fracturing and flow testing of a number of wells in Lancashire in 2013. Before these further exploration and testing plans can proceed, Cuadrilla will work closely with DECC and its representatives, Lancashire County Council, the Environment Agency, the HSE, the local communities and other relevant parties to obtain regulatory approvals and planning permission.
In cooperation with DECC, Cuadrilla has already taken a number of steps to further reduce environmental risk. Key among these is an advanced system for seismic monitoring that allows Cuadrilla and DECC to closely monitor and regulate hydraulic fracturing activity.
Over the past year, the company has also made a number of senior appointments to improve its industry-leading standards and management structure. Francis Egan became the company’s CEO in July 2012, joining from BHP Billiton, with over 28 years of experience in oil and gas.
“Cuadrilla is leading the way in ensuring the highest standard of onshore operations. We are committed to working safely and responsibly at all times, in full accordance with one of the world’s most rigorous regulatory systems,” said Egan.