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Fracking progress as Cuadrilla awarded exploration licences

Cuadrilla has been offered two new exploration licences as part of the government’s 14th round for onshore oil and gas licences.

The licences, each covering approximately 100km² and both located in Yorkshire, are Block SE95 in the South Cleveland Basin and Block SE40f in the Gainsborough Trough. Cuadrilla was jointly offered the licence for the Cleveland Basin with partner, GDF Suez E&P UK, and is the sole licensee on Block SE40f.

For the next year activity in these new exploration licence areas will largely centre on desktop studies and, in some cases, carrying out seismic surveys. This will give the company detailed data on the geology deep underneath the licence areas, helping to assess where exploration sites could subsequently be located.

This announcement comes a month after Cuadrilla revealed it would appeal Lancashire council’s decision to reject planning consent for two applications for temporary shale gas exploration sites.

Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan said: “We are very pleased to be offered these new exploration licences. Whilst we continue to progress our shale gas exploration work in Lancashire, we welcome the potential for exploration in Yorkshire along with the associated benefits of new jobs and economic growth we believe it will bring. 

“Our first priority will be to talk with local communities. We recognise that some members of the public will have concerns and there continues to be a good deal of misinformation circulated regarding onshore shale exploration. We have a responsibility to ensure people understand the facts and are not misled by harmful scaremongering. Onshore exploration and fracking can and will be done safely, securely and in an environmentally responsible way.”

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