The shale gas exploration company has remobilised a range of equipment at its flagship Lancashire fracking site.
The specialist kit is designed to get two existing wells ready for further hydraulic fracturing later this year. At this stage the equipment being mobilised does not including hydraulic fracturing pumps.
Cuadrilla said that forecasts using flow test results from Preston New Road, near Blackpool, in January 2019 have clearly identified the size of the opportunity for the UK. The company announced the start of a three-month programme of fracking to assess the site’s viability in October.
Chief executive Francis Egan said: “Based on our early well results as published in January, estimates now show the UK could reduce its dependency on imported gas by 50% with just 60 sites, create £1.8bn in community benefits and up to 64,000 jobs by 2035. In addition the supply chain could benefit by up to £33bn.
“This is all achievable by simply investing in natural shale gas, establishing an energy policy that supports its development as part of a diverse energy mix and ensuring this significant resource is brought out of the ground to deliver these enormous benefits for everyone.”
Cuadrilla was last month refused permission, following a public inquiry, to carry out fracking at a second Lancashire site, Roseacre Wood. The then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid had approved Preston New Road in 2016, but the work so far has been troubled, with Cuadrilla regularly having to halt work for 18 hours every time an earth tremor above 0.5 magnitude is registered, a mark that was hit eight times in October alone.
Egan added: “We should not underestimate what is at stake here for the UK. Securing our domestic gas supply is only one part of this equation. Consider also the alternative. Just last week, latest figures from Government revealed our reliance on LNG imported from Russia had risen dramatically in 2018 and now makes up about 20 per cent of all imported LNG into this country.
“Cuadrilla has proved it is there and that we can extract it safely and in an environmentally responsible way. We’re back on site and we’re getting ready to make these estimations a reality. It is now imperative that people understand that they have nothing to fear from fracking and actually a huge amount to gain.”