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    UK Cuadrilla Seeks Drilling Extension


It has been able to do less drilling work than the allotted time implies, and so is seeking an extension.

by: William Powell

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UK Cuadrilla Seeks Drilling Extension

UK shale gas explorer Cuadrilla is seeking a permit extension to reflect the amount of downtime it has suffered at its Preston New Road site, it said August 5.

CEO Francis Egan said the condition requires all drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations to be completed within 30 months from the start of drilling the first well. But by the implied end-November deadline for stopping, "we are in fact likely to have spent no more than 21 months in total drilling or fracturing Well PNR1."

The traffic light system requires fracking activities to stop whenever an extremely low seismic threshold is breached.

No other changes are sought, either to the existing approved work scope to drill and hydraulically fracture up to four wells at PNR or the requirement for the site to be decommissioned and restored by April 2023.

In February, Cuadrilla announced results from flow-testing of the UK’s first ever horizontal shale gas exploration well, which confirmed a high quality natural gas resource in the Bowland Shale, previously estimated at around 1,300 trillion ft³ by the British Geological Survey.

The initial exploration programme also confirmed that the Bowland Shale formation fractures in a way that is typical of an excellent shale gas reservoir. A complex fracture network was generated in the shale and sand injected into the fractures stayed in place during flow back.

Egan said the shale gas opportunity underneath Preston New Road remains critical to the UK and could also be a key enabler in regenerating not just the local Lancashire economy but across the country, and provide a major feedstock for hydrogen.