Fylde fracking spend nears £9m

Cuadrilla's drilling rig at Preston New Road
Cuadrilla's drilling rig at Preston New Road

Shale gas exploration company Cuadrilla says it has spent nearly £9m with suppliers as it is finishing off its second horizontally drilled well at the Preston new Road site.

The company became the first to complete a horizontally drilled well in shale in the UK earlier this month and says it is on track to frack both wells by the third quarter if given final permission by the Government.

Now in its latest “Putting Lancashire First” commitments tracker to include figures up to March 31, it said spend in the county economy by Cuadrilla and its suppliers now stands at some £8.6m.

And it added that indirect spend, the amount of money Cuadrilla’s suppliers have sub contracted to other suppliers in Lancashire specifically linked to their own work for Cuadrilla, has now risen to more than £1m.

The company has also seen a growth in interest from the local supply chain, with more than 700 companies now registered on the Supply Chain Portal which is hosted by the county’s two Chambers of Commerce.

Cuadrilla’s chief executive Francis Egan, said: “Having completed drilling the first horizontal well into UK shale, and currently finishing the second, we are delighted that our important exploratory work at Preston New Road has benefited the economy by nearly £9m to date.

“We are also very encouraged to see even more businesses in the county registering to work with Cuadrilla via the Supply Chain Portal, especially as working with Lancashire suppliers remains a key priority and commitment for us, and that our suppliers have in turn generated over £1m of revenue for other Lancashire companies.”

Businesses interested can register on the shale gas supply chain portal at www.shalegaslancashire.co.uk.

But a spokesman from Frack Free Lancashire said: “Cuadrilla would do well to consider offsetting their so-called “benefits” into Lancashire’s economy, with the spiralling expenditure that they have created by their imposition onto our community. For example, the policing bill alone has a price tag upwards of £7m and is estimated at nearly double that.”

See also: Fracking firm in £100,000 community handout