The leading shale gas exploration site

Preston new road

Preston New Road

Our current operational shale gas exploration site is Preston New Road (PNR), which is in the parish of Westby-with-Plumptons, in the Fylde, Lancashire.  We were granted planning permission in October 2016 to develop PNR as a temporary exploration site with permission to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of natural gas from up to four horizontal wells at the site.  Site construction began in early 2017 and drilling began in mid 2017. In 2018, Cuadrilla completed drilling the UK’s first two horizontal shale gas wells. To learn more about horizontal drilling watch the short video here. Hydraulic fracturing of the shale rock adjacent to these two wells started in October.

In March 2019 we mobilised specialist equipment onto the shale gas exploration site in Preston New Road, near Blackpool, designed to get two existing wells ready for further hydraulic fracturing later in the year. The previous month we announced the results from the initial flow-testing of the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gas exploration well, drilled through the shale rock more than 7,500 feet beneath the Preston New Road exploration site in Lancashire, which confirms that there is a rich reservoir of recoverable high-quality natural gas present.

In July we confirmed that we would return to hydraulic fracturing and flow testing of natural gas at Preston New Road in the third quarter of 2019 and, subject to all required regulatory approvals, complete the work programme by the end of November.

Historical information can be found here and please check the Media page for more recent updates.

High Court Injunction

Cuadrilla, following the cessation of Hydraulic Fracturing  applied to vary the order granted by HHJ Pelling on the 11th of July 2018. On the 8th of January 2020 a varied order relating to Trespass on the PNR land was  issued by the High Court. The High Court Order can be viewed here 

All papers regarding the application to the High Court can be found here

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Our community

Community Liaison Group

We’re committed to being a good neighbour and to engaging with local residents and community representatives.  As part of this we established a Community Liaison Group (CLG) for the proposed exploration site at Preston New Road which ran from April 2014 until we brought our appeals in Summer 2015.

Once work began on our site in early 2017, a new CLG was established. As agreed with Lancashire County Council, as part of the discharge of planning conditions for our Preston New Road site, the County Council worked with the local parish council to recruit local people for this new group.  The Terms of Reference for the current CLG can be found here.

The minutes of the Preston New Road CLG 2014-15 meetings can be viewed at the bottom of the page. 

The agenda and minutes for all Preston New Road CLG 2017 meetings can be viewed via the button below.


We have developed an ePortal to help people understand the monitoring processes that we have put in place to help to safeguard the local community and the environment for our operations at Preston New Road. The design of the portal has been guided by the priorities set out by local people during the public consultation undertaken for the planning application for the project. Information will be made available on the portal on a monthly basis during the following month. To view the portal please click here. For help and information on how to navigate and use the ePortal please watch the short video here.

Prior to hydraulically fracturing at Preston New Road we launched a new function on the ePortal to enable the public to view records of daily seismic monitoring around the exploration  site and the surrounding area in Lancashire. The new tool also documents incidents of naturally occurring seismicity across the North West since late 2017 and this will be updated weekly.  You can watch a demo video here to learn more about how to view this data.

To access the Environment Agency’s information on its role in regulating and monitoring our operations at our site click here.  For information on the Oil and Gas Authority’s regulation of seismicity and its Traffic Light Monitoring Scheme click here.