Cuadrilla hails quality of gas from its second Lancashire fracking well

The drilling rig that was at Preston New Road to create the wells. Most equipment used for fracking has now been removed from the site following the Government's moratorium on future fracking
The drilling rig that was at Preston New Road to create the wells. Most equipment used for fracking has now been removed from the site following the Government's moratorium on future fracking
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Shale gas exploration firm Cuadrilla has said it has finished flow testing the second well drilled at its Preston New Road site.

The Bamber Bridge based firm said the results yielded the highest quality sampled gas so far from the Lancashire Bowland shale.

Francis Egan

Francis Egan

The firm said it was encouraged as it had only completed six of the 45 planned frack stages before it had to halt fracking following the spate of earth tremors in August.

The Government has now introduced a moratorium indefinitely until shale firms can mitigate tremors.

Cuadrilla said sampled gas contained 89 per cent methane, six per cent ethane and two per cent propane, with virtually no impurities.

It said a total of 1.3 million cubic feet of natural gas was recovered and gas flowed at a peak rate of over 275 thousand cubic feet per day data and stable flow rates of between 60 and 100 thousand cubic feet per day.

It added that it will now focus on the pressure response of the shale reservoir over the next few months. This involves measuring the rate at which the pressure of gas and fluids in the shale rock increases over time and data gathered will help in assessing productivity.

Cuadrilla chief executive Francis Egan said: “Once again Cuadrilla has demonstrated that the UK Bowland Shale contains the highest quality natural gas and that this will flow to the surface.

"The UK Government has now introduced a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing operations pending the resolution of concerns raised about seismicity induced by fracturing.

“We will continue to work with the Regulator to address the issues raised. As and when the concerns can be alleviated the UK is sitting on very large, high quality, gas resource.”

But Tony Bosworth from Friends of the Earth said: “Francis Egan is clutching at straws – no matter how much he tries to talk up UK shale gas the fact remains that it is damaging, unnecessary and deeply unpopular. Cuadrilla triggered the UK’s largest-ever fracking induced earthquake to get at this gas – that’s why the government has rightly declared a moratorium.”