Reacting to today’s announcement that Cuadrilla has started construction of the Preston New Road site, Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: “This is a significant day for Lancashire. Today’s announcement means that local businesses are now in pole position to benefit from the shale gas supply chain opportunities that will ensue. The establishment of this new industry will, without doubt, have positive economic implications for the area in terms of investment, jobs and security of energy supply to our manufacturing base.
“There is a very clear moral and human interest imperative in promoting sustainable development, of which a well-run and properly regulated shale gas industry can be a part. We owe it to future generations to make a success of it.”
Cuadrilla is pleased to announce the start of initial surface construction works on its shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road, near Little Plumpton. Planning consent was granted in October 2016 and Lancashire County Council recently discharged the planning conditions and approved Cuadrilla’s associated management plans for the works.
The surface site, which is roughly the size of a rugby pitch, will take approximately three months to build and prepare before drilling can commence. These early works will include a new site entrance, access road and well pad. The top soil on the well pad will be cleared so a protective membrane can be installed to create an impermeable barrier underneath the site.
Francis Egan, CEO of Cuadrilla said:
“The start of work on our new shale gas exploration site is an important milestone for Lancashire, bringing new economic growth and jobs for the County. The work will be undertaken to the highest safety and environmental standards. The operations are also underpinned by comprehensive site monitoring programmes undertaken separately by ourselves, regulators and independent academics. Twelve months from now we hope this work will prove the economic viability of this indigenous shale gas resource in Lancashire which will help improve energy security for the nation.”