LONDON (ICIS)--Cuadrilla is to submit a planning application to hydraulically fracture for shale gas with up to four exploration wells in Lancashire, UK, the energy company said on Monday.
Described by CEO Francis Egan as a “milestone” in the development of the UK’s shale gas industry, Cuadrilla is to apply to Lancashire County Council to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of gas at its exploration site at Preston New Road, in The Fylde region of the county.
The application review process is expected to take up to 16 weeks following the validation of the application by the council, according to the company. A separate application will be submitted for a second site at Roseacre Wood is also expected to be submitted to the council a few weeks after the Preston New Road application, Cuadrilla added.
Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", had been suspended in the UK since mid-2011 until a ban on the prctice was lifted in December 2012.
Egan said: “This application could be a really important milestone for Lancashire and the UK as we seek to unlock Lancashire’s shale gas potential."
Cuadrilla also intends to submit plans for the installation of a network of seismic monitoring stations within a four kilometre radius of the proposed exploration site. An environmental impact assessment developed by consultants at Arup will be submitted alongside the planning application, the company added.