Cuadrilla Resources announced yesterday that they hope to resume the exploration of shale gas and have two sites on the Fylde Coast that they propose to start drilling again. They are confident that drilling on these new sites will help to understand the full potential of Lancashire’s shale gas resources.
There has been much debate over shale gas exploration in Lancashire over the past couple of years. Exploration for Shale Gas began on the Fylde Coast in 2011but was halted after a series of minor earth tremors that were thought to have been caused by the fracking.
In 2011, it was estimated there was 200 trillion cubic feet of gas under the ground. Recovering this could create around 5, 600 jobs in the UK with 1,700 of those being in Lancashire. Many of these high skilled posts would pay an average of £55,000 a year. This would be a boost for the county and also the UK as a whole.
Cuadrilla will need to apply for planning permission from Lancashire County Council for the two sites and have scheduled an extensive programme of public consultation to support the development of its proposals.
Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, said:
“We’ve been working hard to assess our site options and have undertaken extensive technical and geological analysis. As a result of this work, we have decided to focus on just two sites at this time. This will allow us to reduce the potential impact on the local area during exploration while still gathering the important information we need to determine how much gas could be recovered. We’re committed to being a good neighbour and to talking with the community at every stage of the process.”
We will wait to see how this progresses but there could be a wealth of opportunities for contractors that want to work in the gas industry if this next stage of fracking gets the go ahead.