British energy company Cuadrilla said on Oct. 12 it would begin fracking a shale gas well at its Lancashire site on Oct. 13 after a court removed the final hurdle to the first hydraulic fracturing in Britain in seven years.
The privately owned company will spend three months fracking two horizontal wells, which involves injecting sand, water and chemicals to split the tightly packed shale rock and induce gas to flow out. This will be the first fracking of a horizontal shale gas well since a 2011 attempt by Cuadrilla caused earth tremors, prompting protests, tighter regulations and delays.
The process will be followed by the first flow rate tests from fractured horizontal shale gas wells in Britain to ascertain not only whether the well could commercially produce gas but test how similar the prospect is to the shale plays that have transformed the U.S. gas industry.
“We are delighted to be starting our hydraulic fracturing operations as planned,” Cuadrilla’s CEO Francis Egan said in a statement.
Flow rate tests will be run after Cuadrilla fracks the two wells and results are expected in the new year. The company said last week it would put sensors in one well as the other is fracked to monitor any seismic activity during the process.
Egan said last week that a result matching an estimate that a single 2.5 km (1.6 mile) well could produce about 5 million cubic feet a day would be a good one.
A local resident wanted the fracking suspended to allow for a judicial review of the local council's safety procedures, but a High Court judge dismissed the case.
Drillers cut nine oil rigs in the week to March 22, bringing the total count down to 824, the lowest since April 2018, Baker Hughes, a GE company (NYSE: BHGE), said in its weekly report.
The independent U.S. energy producer aims to take a final investment decision on the $20 billion project in the coming months, having signed up long-term buyers for its LNG.
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