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|Industry||oil and gas exploration|
|Founder||Dr Chris Cornelius|
England, United Kingdom
|Roy Franklin, OBE, Chairman (2015-present), Lord Browne, Chairman (2007-2015), Francis Egan, CEO|
|Products||shale gas, oil|
|Owner||A.J. Lucas (47%), Riverstone Holdings (45%), Cuadrilla Employees (8%)|
Cuadrilla Resources is an oil and gas exploration and production company founded in 2007. It is headquartered in Bamber Bridge, Lancashire, and has operations in the United Kingdom. The company intend to develop shale gas in the UK by using hydraulic fracturing. Its chairman is Roy Franklin, OBE, who is also deputy chairman of Equinor. Its chief executive is Francis Egan.
Cuadrilla caused two earthquakes in April 2011 when they fracked the Preese Hall site on the Fylde in Lancashire. Their attempts to frack at Balcombe in 2013 were met with strong resistance, which forced the company to back down. Efforts to pursue fracking on the Fylde have continued and have also been met by fierce local opposition. After their application to prospect for shale gas at the Preston New Road site was initially turned down by Lancashire County Council, Cuadrilla appealed and in October 2016, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid overturned the local decision, thus giving the company approval to frack. Construction of the site began in January 2017 and has been met by daily roadside resistance by the community and a series of direct actions which have blockaded the site. In July, grassroots direct action collective Reclaim the Power took daily action to blockade the site, during a month of Rolling Resistance.
In spring 2018, the local community organised a 3 month campaign; the United Resistance of Love and Defiance. Multiple direct actions shut down the site, including an women's march which remembered 100 years since women over 30 won the vote and a "Caravan of Love" action where the bellmouth was blockaded for over 48 hours. Cuadrilla took out an injunction in June 2018, that criminalised all direct action protests along the A583. However, this was challenged.
In October 2018, the company began fracturing again but were forced to suspend operations due to 0.76- and 1.1-magnitude seismic events.
Cuadrilla is a privately owned company with headquarters in the United Kingdom. The company was founded in 2007, financed with investment from the Australian engineering company A.J. Lucas and the Anglo-American equity firm Riverstone Holdings. It is owned 47% by AJ Lucas, 45% by Riverstone Holdings, while Cuadrilla employees (including former employees) own the remaining 8%.:5 In 2009, Riverstone had settled corruption charges in New York through its partner The Carlyle Group.
In April 2015, Roy Franklin, OBE, Deputy chair of the Board of Statoil ASA, and board member of Santos Ltd, Kerogen Capital Ltd and Amec Foster Wheeler, replaced Lord Browne, who had been chairman since 2007. The chief executive is Francis Egan. Cuadrilla is Spanish for group or party, and is pronounced in English roughly as //.
As of 2013[update], the company held licences for ten sites in the UK and had drilled three wells, all in Lancashire, one of which has been hydraulically fractured since 1993 by a previous owner; The company produces gas from that well, completed in sandstone.
- Grange Hill, Singleton: Cuadrilla drilled in 2011, and in September 2011 announced the discovery of 200 trillion cubic feet of gas in place under the Fylde Coast in Lancashire. Cuadrilla hoped to recover 10–20% of the gas. and that it could provide 5,600 jobs in the UK at the peak of production. At the same time Lord Browne claimed that the Lancashire discovery could satisfy the UK's gas consumption "for 56 years",
- In 2012 media reported that the find was "so rich it could meet Britain's needs for decades", that shale gas in Lancashire alone could deliver £6bn of gas a year for the next three decades, and that it had "the potential to do more for Lancashire than the cotton industry." The British Geological Survey, responsible for producing UK's mineral resource inventories, and far more cautious in its estimates, re-evaluated its projections in light of the find.
- As of February 2013[update] Cuadrilla estimated that Lancashire's shale gas could have a market value of £136 billion. and in July 2013, Cuadrilla applied for a permit to hydraulic fracturing of the well it drilled at Grange Hill.
- In April 2014, Cuadrilla published news of their continuing consultation with residents shale gas exploration sites in the Fylde. existing gas well at Elswick, near one of its sites in Lancashire, was fracked 20 years ago by its then owners, British Gas
- Weeton, Lancashire: The company drilled a well and two small earthquakes were caused by its hydraulic fracturing in April 2011. One of the earthquakes was large enough to be felt by some people at the surface and caused some property damage. The earthquakes led to a government-ordered moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, which has since been lifted. As of 2013, this is the only well hydraulically fractured by Cuadrilla.
- Elswick: The gas well had been drilled and hydraulically fractured by British Gas in 1993. The gas extracted from sandstone has been used to generate electricity for the national grid. Bought by Cuadrilla in 2010. Cuadrilla has frequently used this as a showpiece site. Cuadrilla's promotional use of Elswick brought it into conflict with the Advertising Standards Authority (United Kingdom).
- Little Plumpton: Planning permission was refused by Lancashire County Council. However, this decision was appealed by Cuadrilla and the government accepted their appeal in 2016. An appeal against this reversed decision has lost in the Court of Appeal in January 2018.
- On July 24, 2018, the Energy Minister gave Cuadrilla a permit to begin fracking at a Lancashire well. Claire Perry said that "Our world-class regulations will ensure that shale exploration will maintain robust environmental standards and meet the expectations of local communities" in response to criticisms levied at the new license. Cuadrilla plans to submit an application for a second fracking license in the near future.
- Becconsall, Banks: drilled in 2011. Cuadrilla plans further testing of the well.
- Kirkham: planning permission only.
- Hale Hall Farm, Wharles: planning permission only.
Elsewhere in the United Kingdom
A proposed test well, half a mile from Balcombe in West Sussex, scheduled for summer 2013, was the scene of protests. Caudrilla had explained that the drilling would last no more than four months and would not involve fracking, however they were to use acid washing to open natural fractures. Their planning permission was to expire on 28 September 2013. They were to take samples of rock at around 900m (3,000 feet). Cuadrilla suspended its drilling plans in August 2013 after consulting with the Sussex police, citing "threats of direct action against the exploration site". The company said that the halt was done in the interests of safety of the drilling crew, the protesters, and the public.
- Cowden, Kent: originally drilled by another company in 1999. Cuadrilla has no current[when?] plans for the site.[according to whom?]
- Lingfield, Surrey: expired planning permission only
In 2012, Cuadrilla was awarded the Pionki hydrocarbon exploration licence in Poland, which covered an area of over 820 square-kilometres in the greater Lublin Trough/Radom-Krasnik High. The northern half of the licence or "Lublin Trough" contained Devonian and Carboniferous shales, while the southern half of the licence or "Radom-Krasnik High" was mapped to contain both Silurian and Devonian shales.
Cuadrilla has two subsidiaries in the Netherlands, Cuadrilla Hardenberg BV and Cuadrilla Brabant BV, for shale gas exploration: 27. The company has previously held two licenses. The one in Noordoostpolder, which covers an area of over 200,000 acres, is composed of Namurian shales. The Noord Brabant licence, which covers more than 470,000 acres, is made up of Carboniferous, Triassic and Jurassic shales which are thought to contain tight gas, shale gas, and oil shale.:6
In 2014, Cuadrilla requested an extension of its permits for the detection of shale gas in those areas. The following year, the government did not agree to an extension of the exploration licenses and as a result these expired during 2015:2.
Cuadrilla was previously part of a joint venture for shale gas exploration in Hungary. The investment was sold in 2018 :28. In Tompa 38,796 acres composed of recomplete Miocene were described to contain multi TCF Basin Centred TGS.:6
In December 2018 fracking was halted by a 1.5 magnitude earthquake caused by the fracking operation.
On 22 August 2019 fracking at Preston New Road was halted because of a 1.6 magnitude earthquake caused by the fracking operation.
On 26 August 2019 fracking was halted again because of a 2.9 magnitude earthquake caused by fracking Ref bbc news
Conflict of Interest
Cuadrilla has also funded, in conjunction with Centrica the North West Energy Task Force which on 8 January 2015 organised an Open Letter to Lancashire County Council in support of fracking. This letter was signed by Jane Watson, sister of Robert Altham, the judge who sentenced three anti-fracking protesters to jail in September 2018.
Claim of economic benefits of hydraulic fracturing
Cuadrilla gave evidence to the British parliament in Westminster in 2011, based on an analysis by Pöyry consultancy, that using the shale gas reserves in Lancashire could lower British natural gas prices by as much as four percent, and indirectly lower electricity prices. However, at a 2013 meeting in Sussex Cuadrilla's public relations spokesman Mark Linder of Bell Pottinger said "We've done an analysis and it's [the influence on prices] a very small…at the most it's a very small percentage…basically insignificant."
In April 2013, the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) compelled Cuadrilla to withdraw a brochure published the previous year following a complaint by anti-fracking group Refracktion concerning 18 statements it argued were misleading, of which the ASA upheld 6, plus one in part. Cuadrilla reportedly hired Westbourne Communications to assist with its efforts to promote fracking.
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- Cuadrilla website, Banks, accessed 22 August 2013
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- "Cuadrilla Application for Extension". Balcombe Parish Council. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
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