Cuadrilla gets shale tick

Cuadrilla approval: Four shale wells to go ahead

UK shale producer Cuadrilla has seen its application to drill up to four shale gas exploration wells at Preston New Road in northern England accepted for consideration by Lancashire County Council.

The application covers the work needed to drill, hydraulically fracture and test the flow of the proposed wells.

Cuadrilla submitted an environmental statement which is open to the public, with findings of an environmental impact assessment carried out by an independent consultancy group.

The report covers a wide range of issues as a part of community concern, including air quality, lighting, noise, transport, water and visual impact.

Chief executive Francis Egan said a number of changes had been made to the application as a result of community consultation.

There will be a 20% reduction in the use of water mains during fracturing, a reduction in the number of heavy goods vehicles movements, a reduction in the hours that pumps will be operating and a reduction in the height of the flare stack.

Cuadrilla has also submitted a planning application to install a network of monitoring stations in a four kilometre radius of the site.

The council is expected to make a decision on the application within 16 weeks.

The company will submit a separate application for the proposed shale gas exploration rise at Roseacre Wood next week.

An earlier version of this article implied the application had been approved rather than validated by the council. The error is regretted.

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