Cuadrilla notes the Government’s written ministerial statement focusing on hydraulic fracturing operations published in the UK today.
The statement establishes an effective moratorium to be maintained until compelling new evidence is provided to address concerns around the prediction and management of induced seismicity.
This follows on from the publication by the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), on Friday, November 1, of an interim summary report on seismicity at Preston New Road (PNR) alongside four other consultant studies on this subject. This work was based on the data provided to the OGA by Cuadrilla from its operations on the Preston New Road 1 (PNR1z) horizontal shale well in October 2018.
In its interim summary report the OGA recommends that data from the Preston New Road 2 horizontal shale well (PNR2) should now be used to test and improve all four studies with work on maximum magnitude prediction given high priority.
Cuadrilla Resources (the operator of PNR) will now review these interim reports in detail and continue to work constructively with the OGA to provide further detailed data (including data from the PNR2 well) to address concerns so that the moratorium can be lifted and the highly prospective Bowland gas resource further appraised and developed.
The British Geological Survey has estimated that the Bowland shale in the north of England contains significant gas-in-place to meet the needs of the UK for many decades. Cuadrilla has shown that natural gas can be recovered from UK shale and that this gas, at its PNR site, is of extremely high quality. Cuadrilla has also stated that given the high calorific value of natural gas in the Upper Bowland shale it considers that the gas could flow directly into the UK’s extensive gas network without requiring additional treatment or processing, other than water separation.
We agree with the Government that natural gas will play an important role in providing energy to the UK and will continue to do so for many decades in the future. The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC), in its 2019 report, also foresees the UK continuing to consume significant quantities of gas out to 2050 and beyond, even in a carbon-neutral scenario. The CCC also reiterated that it is essential that the UK does not simply offshore its emissions and environmental responsibilities by importing our gas from other countries, that may be less well regulated.