Lancashire

Fracking firm Cuadrilla seeks Preston New Road extension

Drilling rig at the Preston New Road site Image copyright Cuadrilla
Image caption Fracking began at the Preston New Road site in October but operations were halted on six occasions due to underground tremors

Cuadrilla has appealed for more time to be able to drill for shale gas at its Little Plumpton site in Lancashire.

The energy company said existing planning permission conditions meant fracking operations must be completed there by the end of November.

It has now asked Lancashire County Council for a further 18 months.

Fracking began at the Preston New Road site in October but operations were halted on six occasions following underground tremors.

Chief executive Francis Egan said the current permission required all drilling and fracking operations to be completed within 30 months of when drilling started on the first well.

"This would in effect require drilling and hydraulic fracturing to conclude by the end of November 2019," he added.

"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."

Mr Egan said the proposed extension would not change any other conditions, including the building of up to four wells and the requirement for the site to be decommissioned and restored by April 2023.

The Preston New Road site has been the scene of repeated protests from environmentalists who object to hydraulic fracturing - the process in which liquid is pumped at high pressure deep underground to fracture rock and release gas.

No fracking has taken place there since December but Cuadrilla said the process would resume by the end of August.

Work at Cuadrilla's Preese Hall site, near Blackpool, was suspended in 2011 after it was linked to two earth tremors.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites