Cuadrilla to seek permission to keep fracking at Preston New Road beyond November

Fracking company Cuadrilla has announced its plans to seek permission to keep drilling off Preston New Road.

Monday, 5th August 2019, 11:52 am
Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

The company was originally given the go-ahead to start fracking on the condition that all operations should be completed within 30 months of the first well being drilled in October 2018.

It is now hoping for a variation to be made the condition, under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, which would allow fracking to continue at Preston New Road beyond November 2019, when it was due to end.

Chief executive officer Francis Egan said: “I would like to share our intention to formally request a variation to one of the conditions of the Preston New Road site planning permission.

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“The condition requires all drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations to be completed within a period of 30 months from the date of commencement of the drilling of the first well. This would in effect require drilling and hydraulic fracturing to conclude by the end of November 2019. By the end of November 2019 we are in fact likely to have spent no more than 21 months in total drilling or fracturing on site since the commencement of drilling well PNR1.

“Our proposed variation would seek to allow additional time for drilling and hydraulic fracturing operations, but not to change either the existing approved work scope to drill and hydraulically fracture up to four wells at Preston New Road or the requirement for the site to be decommissioned and restored by April 2023.”